Binge eating increased cardiometabolic risk in children, teens

  • November 21, 2013

ATLANTA — Binge eating behavior among children and adolescents was associated with increased cardiometabolic risk, poorer diet quality and reduced physical activity.

In study results presented at Obesity Week, researchers evaluated the binge eating behavior and dietary intake of 492 children and adolescents (mean age, 12 years). Binge eating was measured according to the Binge Eating Scale and dietary intake was determined through a 24-hour dietary recall, macronutrient analysis and assessment of daily energy intake. Screen time — the amount of time spent watching television, using a computer or playing video games — and duration of physical activity also were determined.

“We found that binge eating behavior is associated with some cardiometabolic risk variables,” Maria Edna de Melo, MD, of the Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil, told Cardiology Today.

Researchers reported positive correlations between elevated Binge Eating Scale scores and screen time (P=.038), as well as television viewing time specifically (P=.011), leptin levels (P=.03), waist-to-height ratio (P=.04) and fat-mass percentage (P=.019). Binge eating also was significantly correlated with daily energy intake (P=.017) and carbohydrate consumption (P=.03). A correlation between binge eating and computer or video game time was of borderline significance (P=.05). Binge eating was negatively correlated with physical activity duration (P=.026) and intake of polyunsatured fats (P=.021).

“Epidemiological surveys estimate that binge eating prevalence ranges from 7.5% up to 30% in clinical studies with obese individuals seeking treatment,” researchers wrote. “Binge eating is a common condition associated with failure in obesity treatment due to a higher frequency of dropout and faster regain of weight among obese reporting binge eating.”

For more information:

Melo ME. Abstract T-288-P. Presented at: Obesity Week 2013; Nov. 11-16, 2013; Atlanta.

Disclosure: de Melo reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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