Dieting may lead to binge-eating disorder, obesity

Washington: Inculcating severe food restrictions can lead to binge-eating disorder and obesity, a new study has found.

It is important to examine potential links between binge-eating disorder and food insecurity, as binge-eating is associated with more severe mental and physical health problems than overeating or obesity alone.

To investigate, researchers surveyed 1,250 adults in the United States and categorised them into three groups: healthy weight, binge-eating disorder, and obesity. The team assessed financial influences on participants’ food consumption behaviours over a span of 12 months.

As part of the study, which was published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, a greater proportion of individuals within the binge-eating disorder and obesity groups reported that they cut the size of their meal or skipped meals, and ate less than they thought they should, relative to participants in the healthy weight group.

“This is an important study because it expands our view as to who might be susceptible to binge-eating disorder,” said co-author Dr. Janet Lydecker.

“Although we traditionally think about self-imposed dieting (to lose weight) as associated with binge eating, our findings suggest that externally-imposed restrictions on food are also related to binge eating.”