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Correlates of the use of purging and non-purging methods of weight control in a community sample of women


Mond, J and Hay, P and Rodgers, B and Owen, C and Mitchell, J, Correlates of the use of purging and non-purging methods of weight control in a community sample of women, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 40, (2) pp. 136-142. ISSN 0004-8674 (2006) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2006 The Authors. Journal compilation Copyright 2006 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists

DOI: doi:10.1080/j.1440-1614.2006.01760.x


Objective: To inform the classification of bulimic-type eating disorders, the correlates of purging and non-purging methods of weight control were examined in a large community sample of young adult women reporting recurrent episodes of binge eating.

Method: Scores on self-report measures of eating disorder psychopathology, functional impairment and health-service utilization were compared among individuals who reported (recurrent episodes of binge eating and) the use of either purging (self-induced vomiting, laxative or diuretic misuse; n = 41) or non-purging (extreme dietary restriction, excessive exercise, or use of diet pills; n = 62) methods of weight control. Individuals who reported recurrent binge eating in the absence of extreme weight control behaviours (n = 442) were also included in the analysis.

Results: Non-purgers tended to be younger and heavier and have higher levels of eating disorder psychopathology and functional impairment than purgers and non-compensating binge eaters, however these differences were not statistically significant. Purgers were more likely than non-purgers to have sought treatment specifically for a problem with eating, however this difference was no longer significant after age and body mass index were statistically controlled. In multivariate analysis, frequency of extreme dietary restriction was the best predictor of functional impairment.

Conclusions: These findings call into question the validity of sub-typing of bulimia nervosa into purging and non-purging forms as outlined in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Bulimia nervosa, DSM-IV, Eating disorders
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Mond, J (Dr Jon Mond)
ID Code:117969
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:40
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2017-06-29
Last Modified:2017-11-13

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