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Weight Reduction Expectations in Patients with Binge-Eating Disorder
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Weight Loss & Binge Eaters

Weight Loss Expectations in Patients with Binge-Eating Disorder (BED)

Weight Loss & BED Study - Aim
To study weight loss expectations in patients with binge-eating disorder and to examine whether expectations differed by sex and motivation for treatment.

Weight Loss & BED Study - Methods
One hundred and thirty patients (104 women and 26 men), aged 23 to 61 (mean age, 43.0 years), with BED completed a measure of desired weights that included their dream weight, happy weight, acceptable weight, and disappointed weight. In a structured interview, participants were asked their primary motivation for seeking treatment (appearance or health) and their lowest adult weight
(LAW).

Weight Loss & BED Study - Results
The BED participants reported weight loss expectations that far exceeded expert and governmental guidelines. In this sample, desired dream body mass index (BMI), happy BMI, and acceptable BMI averaged reductions in current weight of 36 percent, 29 percent, and 23 percent, respectively. Even the "disappointed" BMI was an average 14 percent reduction in current weight, and was 1.5 to 3 times greater than the expert recommendation (5 percent to 10 percent). Comparisons of desired weights were significantly different for women and men, whereas percent reductions from current weight were not. Although weight goal expectations were significantly lower for those motivated by appearance, compared with those motivated by health, percent reductions for current weight were not. Desired dream weight correlated with reported LAW, and the mean difference between these weights was not significant.

Weight Loss & BED Study - Issues
These findings suggest that patients with BED have weight loss expectations that far exceed expert and governmental guidelines and that these expectations do not differ by sex or motivation for seeking treatment. One possible explanation for these unrealistic desired weights may be the patients' recollections of their LAWs.

Source: Yale University School of Medicine. 2003

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