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Masheb RM, Lutes LD, Kim HM, Holleman RG, Goodrich DE, Janney CA, Kirsh S, Richardson CR, Damschroder LJ. High-frequency binge eating predicts weight gain among veterans receiving behavioral weight loss treatments. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Jan 1; 23(1):54-61.
OBJECTIVE: To assess for the frequency of binge eating behavior and its association with weight loss in an overweight/obese sample of veterans. METHODS: This study is a secondary analysis of data from the ASPIRE study, a randomized effectiveness trial of weight loss among veterans. Of the 481 enrolled veterans with overweight/obesity, binge eating frequency was obtained by survey for 392 (82%). RESULTS: The majority (77.6%) reported binge eating, and 6.1% reported high-frequency binge eating. Those reporting any binge eating lost 1.4% of body weight, decreased waist circumference by 2.0 cm, and had significantly worse outcomes than those reporting never binge eating who lost about double the weight (2.7%) and reduced waist circumference by twice as much (4.2 cm). The high-frequency binge group gained 1.4% of body weight and increased waist circumference by 0.3 cm. CONCLUSIONS: High rates of binge eating were observed in an overweight/obese sample of veterans enrolled in weight loss treatment. The presence of binge eating predicted poorer weight loss outcomes. Furthermore, high-frequency binge eating was associated with weight gain. These findings have operational and policy implications for developing effective strategies to address binge eating in the context of behavioral weight loss programs for veterans.