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Type: Journal article
Title: How abnormal is binge eating? 18-Year time trends in population prevalence and burden
Author: Mitchison, D.
Touyz, S.
González-Chica, D.
Stocks, N.
Hay, P.
Citation: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 2017; 136(2):147-155
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 0001-690X
Statement of
D. Mitchison, S. Touyz, D. A. González-Chica, N. Stocks, P. Hay
Abstract: Objective: Although findings suggest that binge eating is becoming increasingly normative, the ‘clinical significance’ of this behaviour at a population level remains uncertain. We aimed to assess the time trends in binge-eating prevalence and burden over 18 years. Method: Six cross-sectional face-to-face surveys of the Australian adult population were conducted in 1998, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2014, and 2015 (Ntotal = 15 126). Data were collected on demographics, 3-month prevalence of objective binge eating (OBE), health-related quality of life, days out of role, and distress related to OBE. Results: The prevalence of OBE increased six-fold from 1998 (2.7%) to 2015 (13.0%). Health-related quality of life associated with OBE improved from 1998 to 2015, where it more closely approximated population norms. Days out of role remained higher among participants who reported OBE, although decreased over time. Half of participants who reported weekly (56.6%) and twice-weekly (47.1%) OBE reported that they were not distressed by this behaviour. However, the presence of distress related to OBE in 2015 was associated with greater health-related quality-of-life impairment. Conclusion: As the prevalence of binge eating increases over time, associated disability has been decreasing. Implications for the diagnosis of disorders associated with binge eating are discussed.
Keywords: Eating and feeding disorders; binge-eating disorder; binge eating; burden of illness
Rights: © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
DOI: 10.1111/acps.12735
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