From the Journals

Study: Half of college women exhibited binge eating symptoms



Approximately half of college-aged women exhibit binge eating symptoms, and these women scored significantly higher on measures of depression, stress, and anxiety than do non–binge eaters, based on data from 154 women at a Palestine Polytechnic University in Hebron.

Previous studies show that binge eating disorder is multifactorial and associated with depression and anxiety, however, “To our knowledge, no study has yet assessed the prevalence of binge eating symptoms among female university students,” wrote Manal M. Badrasawi, PhD, of An-Najah National University, Tulkarm, Palestine, and colleagues.

In a cross-sectional study published in the Journal of Eating Disorders, the researchers interviewed 154 female college students in Palestine using the using BEDS-7 (Binge Eating Disorder Screener-7). The average age of the participants was 20 years.

Overall, 50% of the students showed positive binge eating symptoms, and these individuals had significantly higher scores on measures of depression, stress, and anxiety compared to individuals without binge eating symptoms.

Binge eating also was significantly associated with greater frequency of eating between meals and increased snacking, but no significant association was noted between binge eating and sociodemographic variables, including place of residence, marital status, and years of study. Binge eating was not significantly associated with weight status.

The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose.

SOURCE: Badrasawi MM et al. J Eat Disord. 2019 Oct 2;7:33. doi: 10.1186/s40337-019-0263-1.2019.

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