Functional impairment associated with bulimic behaviors in a community sample of men and women

School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University, Bundoora VIC 3083, Australia.
International Journal of Eating Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.13). 07/2007; 40(5):391-8. DOI: 10.1002/eat.20380
Source: PubMed


To examine functional impairment associated with bulimic behaviors in a community sample of men and women.
Binge eating, purging, fasting, extreme weight and shape concerns, and "days-out-of-role" were assessed in a community sample of men (n = 1,290) and women (n = 1,757) aged 15-94 years.
Participants who reported regular eating disorder behaviors had higher levels of functional impairment than those who did not. This was the case for both men and women and for each of the behaviors assessed, although differences between purgers and nonpurgers were not statistically significant. Also in both men and women, participants who reported eating disorder behaviors and weight or shape concerns had higher levels of impairment than those who reported these behaviors in the absence of weight or shape concerns. In multivariate analysis, binge eating, fasting and weight or shape concerns all contributed to the likelihood of impairment in men, whereas only the presence of weight or shape concerns was significantly associated with impairment in women.
Whereas bulimic behaviors are associated with elevated levels of functional impairment in both men and women, weight or shape concerns may be more central to the experience of this impairment in women.

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    • "In the literature, data on gender differences related to the mental HRQL are conflicting. While some studies have found it to be associated with equal impairment (Mond and Hay, 2007) and/or greater distress in women compared to men (Lewinsohn et al., 2002), a recent study found that the mental HRQL SF-36 subscale was associated with greater impairment in men compared to women (Mitchison et al., 2013). More research is needed before any firm conclusions can be made. "
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