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Size Really Doesn't Matter

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The judgement of what constitutes a large amount of food is one part of determining a binge and is therefore crucial for the diagnosis of BN. This study aimed to determine whether eating disorder professionals agree on what constitutes a large amount of food and the criterion they use to make the decision.


147 eating disorder professionals completed a short questionnaire, that involved rating five food vignettes according to whether they believed them to consist of a large amount of food.


There was general consensus among eating disorder professionals as to what constituted a large amount of food. The results also suggested that many participants based their judgement on how dissimilar the vignette was to a normal meal.


The finding that the judgement of whether an amount of food is large can be made with high reliability but low validity should be the subject of further research due to its importance in the diagnosis of bulimia nervosa. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

Keywords: DSM; ICD; binge; bulimia nervosa; diagnosis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Eating Disorders Service, Huntercombe Manor Hospital, Huntercombe Lane South, Taplow, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 0PQ, UK

Publication date: 2003-09-01

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