University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Public Perceptions of Binge Eating and Its Treatment

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 06:38 authored by Jon MondJon Mond, Hay, PJ

Objective: Attitudes and beliefs concerning a binge eating problem were examined in a community sample of men and women (n 5 1031) aged 15 to 94 years.

Method: A vignette describing a fictional 32-year-old female obese binge eater was presented, followed by a series of questions concerning the nature and treatment of the problem described.

Results: Most participants believed that binge eating is primarily a problem of low self-esteem or depression. Behavioral weight loss treatment and self-help interventions were the treatments considered most helpful, whereas few participants believed that psychotherapy would be helpful. General practitioners and dieticians were the treatment providers considered most helpful. Most participants were ambivalent about prognosis given treatment and pessimistic about outcome in the absence of treatment.

Conclusion: The fact that binge eating is viewed primarily as a problem of negative affect, and that specific psychotherapy is not highly regarded as a treatment, may go some way to explaining why most individuals with binge eatingtype disorders do not receive appropriate treatment. The benefits of specific psychotherapy in stabilizing eating behavior and improving quality of life for obese binge eaters need to be communicated to sufferers and to the health professionals they are likely to contact.


Publication title

International Journal of Eating Disorders










School of Health Sciences


John Wiley & Sons Inc

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Mental health

Usage metrics