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Disordered eating cognitions and behaviours among slimming organization competition winners

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Abstract Background 

Long-term success in weight loss treatments for obesity is elusive. The most widely used approach after diet books is slimming clubs. A percentage of members achieve dramatic and lasting weight losses. The study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of binge eating and unhealthy eating-related thought patterns among a group of highly successful weight losers. Methods 

Sixty-five slimming competition winners self reported their weight history and eating habits in a semi-structured questionnaire. The Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) and the Emotional Eating Scale (EES) were also administered. Results 

Despite substantial weight loss (mean = 38%, SD = 10%) and widespread maintenance of losses, participants evidenced high levels of dietary restraint and weight, shape and eating overconcern. Emotional eating levels were significantly higher than those seen in noneating disordered populations on two of three subscales. Seventy-one per cent also reported bingeing in the past 3 months. Conclusions 

Commercial slimming organizations should engage with broader psychological and behavioural features of obesity, including bingeing and eating-related cognitive patterns.

Keywords: binge eating; commercial slimming clubs; weight change; weight maintenance

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2008


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