Differences in body image and depression among obese women with and without binge eating disorder

Melissa Pederson Mussell, Carol B Peterson, Christine L. Weller, Ross D. Crosby, Martina De Zwaan, James E. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Obese individuals with binge eating disorder (BED) differ from obese non-binge eating (NBE) individuals in a number of clinically relevant ways. This study examined attitudinal responses to various measures of body image in women seeking obesity treatment, by comparing NBE participants (n=80) to those with BED (n=48). It was hypothesized that women with BED would demonstrate greater attitudinal disturbance of body image compared to NBE individuals. It was further hypothesized that significant differences between groups would remain after statistically controlling for degree of depression. Consistent with the primary hypothesis, BED participants reported significantly increased attitudinal disturbance in body dissatisfaction and size perception compared to NBE participants. Although shared variance was observed between measures of depression and body image on some items, several aspects of increased body image disturbance remained after statistically controlling for depression. Treatment implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalObesity research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996


  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Body size estimation
  • Eating disorder
  • Obesity


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