Similar Clinical Impairments for Men, Women Who Binge Eat

Men and women who binge eat have substantially higher clinical impairment than those who do not

THURSDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women who binge eat suffer similar levels of clinical impairment, despite an underrepresentation of men in treatment studies, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Ruth H. Striegel, Ph.D., from the Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and colleagues compared the clinical and demographic correlates of binge eating between men and women. Data for 21,743 men and 24,608 women from a health risk self-assessment survey were analyzed for gender differences in obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, stress, depression, sleep, sick days, and work and non-work activity impairment.

The investigators found that 1,630 of the men and 2,754 of the women who binge eat faced similar levels of clinical impairment based on effect size estimation. The impairments were substantially greater when compared with men and women who do not binge eat.

"The underrepresentation of men in treatment-seeking samples does not appear to reflect lower levels of impairment in men versus women. Efforts are needed to raise awareness of the clinical significance of binge eating in men so that this group can receive appropriate screening and treatment services," the authors write.

All of the study authors disclosed financial ties to HealthMedia Inc.

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