The gender specificity of emotional, situational, and behavioral indicators of binge eating in a diet-seeking obese population.
OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the unique gender correlates of binge eating severity in a diet-seeking population. METHOD: This sample consisted of 288 self-admitted patients enrolled in a residential weight loss program between 1996 and 1997. Subjects were administered several questionnaires including (a) the Binge Eating Scale, (b) the Beck Depression Inventory, (c) the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, (d) 5-point scales of eating related foci, and (e) 7-point scales of subject confidence in controlling their eating under various circumstances. Data were analyzed in terms of stepwise regression analyses. RESULTS: Regression results revealed that while men and women share some common predictors of binge eating severity, there are also some gender-specific correlates. Men in our sample were prone to binge eat because of negative emotions (i.e., depression and anger), while binge eating severity for women in our sample was most strongly related to diet failure and tests of moderate eating. DISCUSSION: The strength of the distinctive gender-specific regressions for binge eating severity suggests that the problems of binging in obese males and females are derivatives of differential sex role expectations. This interpretation and clinical implications are the focus of the discussion.
Costanzo, PR; Musante, GJ; Friedman, KE; Kern, LS; Tomlinson, K
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