A preliminary examination of Loss of Control Eating Disorder (LOC-ED) in middle childhood

Camden E. Matherne, Marian Tanofsky-Kraff*, Anne M. Altschul, Lisa M. Shank, Natasha A. Schvey, Sheila M. Brady, Ovidiu Galescu, Andrew P. Demidowich, Susan Z. Yanovski, Jack A. Yanovski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Loss of Control Eating Disorder (LOC-ED) has been proposed as a diagnostic category for children 6-12. years with binge-type eating. However, characteristics of youth with LOC-ED have not been examined. We tested the hypothesis that the proposed criteria for LOC-ED would identify children with greater adiposity, more disordered eating attitudes, and greater mood disturbance than those without LOC-ED. Participants were 251 youth (10.29. years. ±. 1.54, 53.8% female, 57.8% White, 35.5% Black, 2.0% Asian, 4.8% Hispanic, 53.0% overweight). Youth were interviewed regarding eating attitudes and behaviors, completed questionnaires to assess general psychopathology, and underwent measurements of body fat mass. Using previously proposed criteria for LOC-ED, children were classified as LOC-ED (n. = 19), LOC in the absence of the full disorder (subLOC, n. = 33), and youth not reporting LOC (noLOC, n. = 199). LOC-ED youth had higher BMIz (. p= 0.001) and adiposity (. p= 0.003) and reported greater disordered eating concerns (. p<. 0.001) compared to noLOC youth. Compared to subLOC youth, LOC-ED youth had non-significantly higher BMIz (. p= 0.11), and significantly higher adiposity (. p= 0.04) and disordered eating attitudes (. p= 0.02). SubLOC youth had greater disordered eating concerns (. p<. 0.001) and BMIz (. p= 0.03) but did not differ in adiposity (. p= 0.33) compared to noLOC youth. These preliminary data suggest that LOC-ED youth are elevated on disordered eating cognitions and anthropometric measures compared to youth without LOC-ED. Longitudinal studies are needed to determine if those with LOC-ED are at particularly increased risk for progression of disordered eating and excess weight gain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-61
Number of pages5
JournalEating Behaviors
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Binge eating
  • Loss of control eating
  • Obesity
  • Prevention


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