Childhood and adolescence are critical periods of neural development and physical growth. The malnutrition and related medical complications resulting from eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN) and eating disorder not otherwise specified may have more severe and potentially more protracted consequences during youth than during other age periods. The consensus opinion of an international workgroup of experts on the diagnosis and treatment of child and adolescent eating disorders is that (a) lower and more developmentally sensitive thresholds of symptom severity (e.g. lower frequency of purging behaviours, significant deviations from growth curves as indicators of clinical severity) be used as diagnostic boundaries for children and adolescents, (b) behavioural indicators of psychological features of eating disorders be considered even in the absence of direct self-report of such symptoms and (c) multiple informants (e.g. parents) be used to ascertain symptom profiles. Collectively, these recommendations will permit earlier identification and intervention to prevent the exacerbation of eating disorder symptoms.
eating disorders; classification; children; adolescents; malnutrition
There is increasing evidence that patients who have problems with binge eating (BE) or BE disorder (BED) are quite common among the severely obese, including bariatric surgery candidates. The literature suggests that in many cases such eating behaviours improve after bariatric surgery, although this is not uniformly true. The current paper reviews the data on the development of BE, BED and loss of control (LOC) eating after bariatric surgery and the impact of these problems on long-term weight outcome. A search was made of various databases regarding evidence of BE, BED and LOC eating post-operatively in bariatric surgery patients. The data extracted from the literature suggests that 15 research studies have now examined this question. Fourteen of the available 15 studies suggest that the development of problems with BE, BED or LOC eating post-bariatric surgery is associated with less weight loss and/or more weight regain post-bariatric surgery. These data suggests that it is important to identify individuals at high risk for these problems, to follow them post-operatively, and, if appropriate interventions can be developed if such behaviours occur in order to maximize weight loss outcomes.
binge eating disorder; obesity; outcome
Animal studies indicate gonadal hormones at puberty have an effect on the development of masculine and feminine traits. However, it is unknown whether similar processes occur in humans. We examined whether women with anorexia nervosa (AN), who often experience primary amenorrhea, exhibit attenuated feminization in their psychological characteristics in adulthood due to the decrease/absence of gonadal hormones at puberty. Women with AN were compared on a number of psychological characteristics using General Linear Models based on the presence/absence of primary amenorrhea. Although women with primary amenorrhea exhibited lower anxiety scores than those without primary amenorrhea, in general, results did not provide evidence of attenuated feminization in women with AN with primary amenorrhea. Future research should utilize novel techniques and direct hormone measurement to explore the effects of pubertal gonadal hormones on masculine and feminine traits.
Organizational effects; sex differences; amenorrhea; pubertal timing; anorexia nervosa
Women with bulimia nervosa (BN) frequently have co-occurring alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Studies of shared genetic transmission of these disorders have been mixed. Personality heterogeneity among individuals with BN may explain discrepant findings. Cluster analysis has characterized women with BN in groups on the basis of personality profiles. One group, the Dysregulated cluster, characterized largely by behavioural disinhibition and emotional dysregulation may be more closely linked etiologically to AUDs. This study examined whether genetic associations between BN and AUDs are the strongest among the Dysregulated cluster. Symptoms of BN and AUDs were assessed in female twins at ages 17 and 25 years from the Minnesota Twin Family Study. Personality clusters were defined using the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire. Twin moderation models suggested small-to-moderate common genetic transmission between BN and AUDs. However, shared genetic effects did not differ by personality cluster. Findings suggest that personality clusters are unlikely to account for inconsistent findings regarding their shared aetiology.
bulimia nervosa; alcohol use disorders; personality
The present study sought to identify psychological factors that predict onset and maintenance of eating disorders. Secondary analyses were conducted using data from an epidemiological study of health and eating behaviors in men and women (N=1320; 72% female) to examine the prospective and independent influence of the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) Perfectionism, Interpersonal Distrust, and Maturity Fears subscales in predicting the onset and maintenance of eating disorders at 10-year follow-up. Multivariate models indicated higher Perfectionism (p=.025), lower Interpersonal Distrust (p<.001), and higher Maturity Fears (p=.037) predicted increased risk for eating disorder onset at 10-year follow-up, but only Perfectionism (p=.004) predicted eating disorder maintenance. Differential prediction of eating disorder onset versus maintenance highlights potentially different psychological foci for prevention versus treatment efforts.
longitudinal; eating disorders; onset; maintenance
The current study sought to examine executive functioning (EF) in overweight individuals with and without loss-of-control (LOC) eating.
Eighty overweight and obese individuals entering a behavioral weight loss trial with (n=18) and without (n=62) LOC eating were administered a clinical interview and neuropsychological battery designed to assess self-regulatory control, planning, delayed discounting, and working memory.
After controlling for age, IQ, and depression, individuals with LOC eating performed worse on tasks of planning and self-regulatory control and did not differ in performance on other tasks.
Results indicate that overweight individuals with LOC eating display relative deficits in EF compared to overweight individuals without LOC eating. Planning and self-regulatory control deficits in particular may contribute to dysregulated eating patterns, increasing susceptibility to LOC episodes. Future research should examine how EF deficits relate to treatment outcome.
Binge eating; neuropsychology; loss-of-control-eating; obesity; executive function
To assess potential selection bias in participant recruitment for randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of adolescent eating disorders (ED), we compared participants recruited for RCTs evaluating psychosocial treatments with individuals seeking fee-for-service outpatient ED treatment (CTS).
Participants were 214 adolescents presenting to an outpatient ED research-clinical program (92.1% female; M age=15.4±1.8). ANOVA and chi-square tests assessed differences between CTS participants and those presenting for no-cost treatment through RCTs. A secondary analysis compared RCT participants to participants eligible for the RCTs that opted for fee-for-service treatment.
RCT participants had greater baseline ED and general psychopathology (ps<.001); however, CTS participants were more likely to present with a comorbid psychiatric disorder (p<.05) and higher family income (p<.05).
Results suggest that RCT participants did not have less pathology than CTS participants. While preliminary, results do not indicate a systematic population bias in selecting healthier patients for RCTs involving adolescent ED.
recruitment; adolescent eating disorders; representative samples
Pediatric loss of control (LOC) eating heightens risk for excessive weight gain and further disordered eating. Assessment of LOC typically involves self-report interview or laboratory test meal, although no study has concurrently examined data from both methods. We gathered eating episode data via interview (Child Eating Disorder Examination; ChEDE) and a laboratory test meal, among 22 overweight girls (aged 7-12 years) reporting LOC eating. Children consumed more energy during ChEDE episodes, although ChEDE and test meal episodes did not differ in macronutrient content. Episodes' correlation for amount consumed (grams) did not reach significance, p=.076. In exploratory analyses among the 7 children reporting LOC during the test meal, episodes were significantly correlated for grams consumed. Findings provide preliminary data to suggest that semi-structured interviews accurately capture children's LOC episode quantity. Episodes did not qualitatively differ, although children reported consuming more energy during self-reported episodes. Replication is warranted in larger studies.
This study investigated the importance of the distinction between objective (OBE) and subjective binge eating (SBE) among 80 treatment-seeking adolescents with bulimia nervosa (BN). We explored relationships among OBEs, SBEs, eating disorder (ED) symptomatology, depression, and self-esteem using two approaches. Group comparisons showed that OBE and SBE groups did not differ on ED symptoms or self-esteem; however, the SBE group had significantly greater depression. Examining continuous variables, OBEs (not SBEs) accounted for significant unique variance in global ED pathology, vomiting, and self-esteem. SBEs (not OBEs) accounted for significant unique variance in restraint and depression. Both OBEs and SBEs accounted for significant unique variance in eating concern; neither accounted for unique variance in weight/shape concern, laxative use, diuretic use, or driven exercise. Loss of control, rather than amount of food, may be most important in defining binge eating. Additionally, OBEs may indicate broader ED pathology while SBEs may indicate restrictive/depressive symptomatology.
subjective binge eating; objective binge eating; adolescents; bulimia nervosa
The aim of the current study was to examine and compare dieting and unhealthy weight-control behaviours (UWCB) in population-based samples in two large urban areas in Spain (Barcelona) and in the USA (Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota). Additionally, use of UWCB across weight categories was explored in both samples. Participants included 1501 adolescents from Barcelona (48% girls, 52% boys) and 2793 adolescents from the Twin Cities (53% girls, 47% boys). The main outcome measures were dieting, UWCB (less extreme and extreme) and weight status. Although dieting and UWCB were prevalent in both samples, particularly among girls, the prevalence was higher in the US sample. In both countries, the report of dieting and use of UWCB was highest among overweight and obese youth. Prevention interventions that address the broad spectrum of eating and weight-related problems should be warranted in light of the high prevalence and co-occurrence of overweight and unhealthy weight-related behaviours.
adolescents; disordered eating; dieting; weight status; overweight
Although eating disorders (EDs) and ED symptoms are common among individuals in recovery for substance abuse (SA), long-term SA treatment programmes rarely address these problems. The present study examined the prevalence of EDs among women residing in Oxford Houses—low-cost, self-governed recovery homes for SA. Further, among women both with and without an ED diagnosis, the association between duration of Oxford House residency and eating-related self-efficacy scores was examined as an indicator of potential treatment effects on ED symptoms. During a telephone assessment, participants were administered the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Axis I Disorders and the Eating Disorder Recovery Self-Efficacy Questionnaire. Results indicated that 12 of the 31 women analysed met criteria for an ED (bulimia nervosa, 2; ED not otherwise specified, 10). Differential findings were evident for eating-related self-efficacy measures depending on ED diagnostic status and duration of residency. Potential interpretations, limitations and implications are discussed.
eating disorder; substance abuse; Oxford House; self-efficacy; recovery home
Eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) is the most prevalent eating disorder, yet its heterogeneity begs less reliance on this broad diagnostic category. The purpose of this study was to compare women with anorexia nervosa (AN) and EDNOS, AN type (EDNOS-AN) from a multisite study on eating-related and general psychopathology measures.
One hundred eighteen participants (n = 59 with DSM-IV AN, n = 59 with EDNOS-AN) completed structured interviews, questionnaires and a physical examination at baseline. In addition, participants carried a handheld palm pilot computer for two weeks to provide ecological momentary assessment (EMA) information about mood and eating disorder behaviors.
No significant differences between AN and EDNOS-AN were found on the self-report and interview measures, or on the EMA mood assessments. The only differences to emerge were that participants with AN reported higher rates of binge eating and purging on EMA compared to those with EDNOS-AN, while EDNOS-AN reported higher rates of checking thighs and joints on EMA compared to those with AN. For the physiological parameters, AN presented with lower white blood cell counts compared to EDNOS-AN.
Findings highlight the clinical significance of EDNOS-AN, and support a closer look at the definition of AN as proposed by DSM-5.
Anorexia nervosa; EDNOS; classification
Adult anorexia nervosa (AN) is associated with inefficient cognitive flexibility and set-shifting. Whether such inefficiencies also characterize adolescent AN is an important area of research.
Adolescents with AN and matched controls were administered a computerized task that required initial learning of an explicit rule using corrective feedback and learning of a new rule after a set number of trials. Adult patients with AN and controls were also examined.
Adolescents with AN did not differ from matched controls with respect to set-shifting cost (decrease in performance after rule change), whereas adults with AN had significantly greater set-shifting cost compared with controls.
This study suggests that set-shifting inefficiencies may not be a vulnerability factor for AN development in adolescents with AN, but might become an important aspect of the disorder at later age, and could point towards developmental neurobiologic brain changes that could affect AN at different ages.
anorexia nervosa; neurobiology; childhood; set shifting; cognitive flexibility
Our objective is to determine whether quetiapine was superior to placebo in increasing weight or reducing core symptoms of anorexia nervosa as assessed by the Yale–Brown–Cornell Eating Disorder Scale and the Eating Disorder Inventory-2.
Participants were randomised to 8 weeks of quetiapine or placebo.
There are 21 participants who signed informed consent, 15 were randomised, 14 returned for at least one visit after receiving drug and 10 completed the study. There were no differences between drug and placebo in questionnaire scores, weight or measures of anxiety or depression.
There was no difference between quetiapine and placebo on weight gain or core symptoms. Small effect sizes suggest that a higher number of participants would not increase significant differences between groups.
anorexia nervosa; trial; pharmacotherapy; treatment
To explore age differences in current and preferred silhouette and body dissatisfaction (current -preferred silhouette discrepancy) in women aged 25-89 years using figural stimuli (range: 1-very small to 9-very large). Data were abstracted from two online convenience samples (N = 5,868). t-tests with permutation-adjusted p-values examined linear associations between mean silhouette scores (current, preferred, discrepancy score) and age with/without stratification by body mass index (BMI). Modal current silhouette was 5; modal preferred silhouette was 4; mean discrepancy score was 1.8. There was no significant association between current silhouette and age, but a positive linear association between preferred silhouette and age remained after stratification by BMI. A significant inverse linear association of silhouette discrepancy score and age was found only prior to stratification by BMI. Body dissatisfaction exists in women across the adult life span and is influenced by BMI.
body dissatisfaction; body image; eating disorders; silhouette; women
This study examined how individuals clinically assessed as fully or partially recovered from an eating disorder subjectively perceived themselves in terms of stage of change in the recovery process. Individuals formerly seen for an eating disorder at a Midwestern clinic were recruited. Using validated definitions of recovery, 18 were fully recovered (physical, behavioral, and psychological recovery) and 15 were partially recovered (only physical and behavioral recovery); these groups were compared on overall stage of change and confidence related to this stage, dieting stage of change, and internality of motivation. The fully and partially recovered groups endorsed being fully recovered (overall and for dieting) at similar rates. There were trends for the fully recovered group seeking change primarily for themselves and being more confident in their stage of change choice. Results have implications for approaches when a client's assessed recovery stage does not match her subjective sense of recovery and for better understanding recovery from an eating disorder.
eating disorders; recovery; stage of change; subjective
To further refine our understanding of impulsivity, obsessions, and compulsions in anorexia nervosa (AN) by isolating which behaviors—binge eating, purging, or both—are associated with these features.
We conducted regression analyses with binge eating, purging, and the interaction of binge eating with purging as individual predictors of scores for impulsivity, obsessions, and compulsions in two samples of women with AN (n = 1373).
Purging, but not binge eating, was associated with higher scores of impulsivity, obsessions and compulsions. Purging was also associated with worst eating rituals and with worst eating preoccupations.
Our results suggest that purging, compared with binge eating, may be a stronger correlate of impulsivity, obsessions, and compulsions in AN.
anorexia nervosa; impulsivity; compulsivity; binge eating; purging
This exploratory study assessed whether maternal recall of childhood feeding and eating practices differed across anorexia nervosa (AN) subtypes. Participants were 325 women from the Genetics of Anorexia Nervosa study whose mothers completed a childhood feeding and eating questionnaire. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to predict AN subtype from measures related to childhood eating: (a) infant feeding (breastfed, feeding schedule, age of solid food introduction), (b) childhood picky eating (picky eating before age one and between ages one and five), and (c) infant gastrointestinal problems (vomiting and colic). Results revealed no significant differences in retrospective maternal report of childhood feeding and eating practices among AN subtypes.
Anorexia Nervosa; Anorexia Nervosa Subtype; Feeding; Maternal Report; Infancy
To present a case report detailing the use of an enhanced form of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). The treatment was provided to an adolescent with an eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) diagnosis, and included a focus on the additional maintaining mechanisms of mood intolerance and interpersonal problems.
This case began as an unsuccessful attempt at family therapy, where the underlying dysfunction exacerbated symptoms and demoralized the family. The therapist subsequently chose to utilize an enhanced version of CBT to simultaneously address the patient's symptoms and try to effect change across multiple domains. A description of the patient's eating disorder pathology, the 29-session treatment, and outcome, are provided.
This case study illustrates that it is possible to successfully use enhanced CBT with developmentally appropriate adaptations in the treatment of a young patient with an EDNOS diagnosis, as suggested by Cooper and Stewart (2008).
cognitive behavioral therapy; eating disorder not otherwise specified; purging disorder; adolescents
This analysis is a follow-up to an earlier investigation of 182 genes selected as likely candidate genetic variations conferring susceptibility to anorexia nervosa (AN). As those initial case-control results revealed no statistically significant differences in single nucleotide polymorphisms, herein we investigate alternative phenotypes associated with AN. In 1762 females using regression analyses we examined: (1) lowest illness-related attained body mass index; (2) age at menarche; (3) drive for thinness; (4) body dissatisfaction; (5) trait anxiety; (6) concern over mistakes; and (7) the anticipatory worry and pessimism vs. uninhibited optimism subscale of the harm avoidance scale. After controlling for multiple comparisons, no statistically significant results emerged. Although results must be viewed in the context of limitations of statistical power, the approach illustrates a means of potentially identifying genetic variants conferring susceptibility to AN because less complex phenotypes associated with AN are more proximal to the genotype and may be influenced by fewer genes.
covariates; eating disorders; association studies; personality; genetic
The purpose of this study was to explore how individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) engage in treatment and define recovery. A mixed methods design was used to triangulate the experience of 20 women with a history of AN. Interview data were analysed thematically to explore frequency of emergent themes and current eating disorder psychopathology was assessed using standardized self-report measures. Participants’ mean age was 29.35 (SD = 12.11). Participants’ scores were indicative of persistent psychopathology. Those with more involvement in treatment choice had better motivation to change and normalized eating. Participants’ definition of recovery mapped on well to current research conceptualizations, though a substantial proportion of the group expressed some ambivalence around the concept. Results are interpreted in the context of self-determination theory of motivation and suggest that patients should be involved collaboratively in the formulation of shared goals and concepts of recovery in treatment settings.
anorexia nervosa; recovery; motivation; engagement; treatment
A significant percentage of individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN) also can be diagnosed with a co-occurring substance use disorder (SUD). Although studies have addressed the frequency of overlap between the disorders, etiology and shared personality traits, limited research is available about the treatment of these comorbid patients. Adapting cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) to serve as an integrated treatment for patients with both BN and a SUD is a viable option, as studies of CBT suggest that this form of treatment is efficacious for both disorders independently. The shared strategies in CBT for BN and SUDs facilitate the development of a combined treatment for individuals with both disorders with the addition of modules designed to address some common features of these disorders, such as motivation, difficulty with interpersonal relationships, reward sensitivity and impulsivity. Future research should begin to evaluate the efficacy of an integrated CBT in treating individuals with BN and a SUD.
cognitive behavioural therapy; eating disorders; bulimia nervosa; substance use disorders
: The aims of our study were to examine the lifetime prevalence of obesity rate in eating disorders (ED) subtypes and to examine whether there have been temporal changes among the last 10 years and to explore clinical differences between ED with and without lifetime obesity.
: Participants were 1383 ED female patients (DSM-IV criteria) consecutively admitted, between 2001 and 2010, to Bellvitge University Hospital. They were assessed by means of the Eating Disorders Inventory-2, the Symptom Checklist-90—Revised, the Bulimic Investigatory Test Edinburgh and the Temperament and Character Inventory—Revised.
: The prevalence of lifetime obesity in ED cases was 28.8% (ranging from 5% in anorexia nervosa to 87% in binge-eating disorders). Over the last 10 years, there has been a threefold increase in lifetime obesity in ED patients (p < .001). People with an ED and obesity had higher levels of childhood and family obesity (p < .001), a later age of onset and longer ED duration; and had higher levels of eating, general and personality symptomatology.
: Over the last 10 years, the prevalence of obesity associated with disorders characterized by the presence of binge episodes, namely bulimic disorders, is increasing, and this is linked with greater clinical severity and a poorer prognosis. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
obesity; eating disorders; personality; psychopathology
Diagnosis of an eating disorder (ED) has been associated with differences in cognition. Recent evidence suggests that differences may be present prior to onset. Children at familial high risk for ED show cognitive differences at ages 8–10 years. Research is required to investigate differences in cognitive development at various time points. This is the first study to investigate cognitive development in children at high risk at 18 months (Griffiths Mental Development Scale; n = 982) and 4 years old (Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence—Revised; n = 582), in comparison with children not at risk, using a general population sample, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Children of women with lifetime anorexia nervosa revealed difficulties in social understanding, visual-motor function, planning and abstract reasoning. Cognitive differences observed here have also been observed in clinical groups. This suggests difficulties may be present prior to onset, potentially affecting risk status for development of ED. Findings contribute to an understanding of aetiology, and design of prevention/intervention strategies.
ALSPAC; eating disorder; high-risk; cognitive development; aetiology