Elevated pre-morbid weights in bulimic individuals are usually surpassed post-morbidly: Implications for perpetuation of the disorder

Jena A. Shaw, David B. Herzog, Vicki L. Clark, Laura A. Berner, Kamryn T. Eddy, Debra L. Franko, Michael R. Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To determine how often patients diagnosed with bulimia nervosa (BN) surpass their highest pre-morbid weight during the course of their disorder. Method: The weight histories of individuals with BN were determined using retrospective weight data (Study 1) and combined retrospective/prospective data (Study 2). Results: Retrospective analyses indicated that 59.0% (n = 46) and 61.8% (n = 110), respectively, reported that their highest weight was reached after developing BN. In Study 2, 35.3% of participants superseded their highest pre-enrollment weights during 8 years of follow-up, and 71.6% reached a post-morbid highest weight before remission. Across studies, the primary difference between patients who did and did not reach their highest weight post-morbidly was that those who did had an earlier age of onset and longer duration of BN. Discussion: Findings are discussed in terms of possible links between BN and weight-gain proneness, weight fluctuation across the course of BN, and implications for treating BN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-523
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • bulimia nervosa
  • weight gain
  • weight suppression

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