Does binge eating disorder alter cortisol secretion in obese women?

ArticleinEating Behaviors 8(1):59-64 · February 2007with7 Reads
Impact Factor: 1.58 · DOI: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2006.01.002 · Source: PubMed


    It is still poorly determined whether the presence of Binge Eating Disorder (BED) would alter cortisol secretion in obese patients. We aimed at investigating levels of salivary cortisol (SC) in patients with and without BED. Forty seven (47) obese women between 30 and 65 years old were sequentially selected to participate in the study. The diagnosis of BED was assessed according to the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. Binge Eating Scale (BES) was used to assess binge severity. A trend toward a negative correlation was observed between SC and body mass index in the whole sample (p=0.06). The presence of BED was not associated with increased levels of SC. In women without BED, SC levels correlated inversely with BMI (p=0.01). On the other hand, in women with BED, SC levels correlated significantly with BES (p=0.01). Although obesity is associated with decreased levels of cortisol, this relationship may be lost in patients with BED. In patients with BED, binge eating severity may be a more relevant regulator of cortisol secretion than obesity itself.