A Multisite Investigation of Binge Eating Behaviors in Children and Adolescents

Marian Tanofsky-Kraff*, Lien Goossens, Kamryn T. Eddy, Rebecca Ringham, Andrea Goldschmidt, Susan Z. Yanovski, Caroline Braet, Marsha D. Marcus, Denise E. Wilfley, Cara Olsen, Jack A. Yanovski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


The phenomenology of childhood and adolescent loss of control (LOC) eating is unknown. The authors interviewed 445 youths to assess aspects of aberrant eating. LOC was associated with eating forbidden food before the episode; eating when not hungry; eating alone; and experiencing secrecy, negative emotions, and a sense of "numbing" while eating (ps < .01). Hierarchical cluster analysis revealed a subgroup, most of whom reported LOC eating. Cluster members reported having a trigger initiate episodes, eating while watching television, and having decreased awareness regarding the amount consumed. The authors conclude that aspects of LOC eating during youth are similar to aspects of adult episodes, but a youth-specific presentation may exist. Findings may provide an intervening point to prevent excessive weight gain and eating disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-913
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescents
  • binge eating
  • children
  • loss of control eating


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