Short-binge Program Has Long-term Benefit

MIDDLETOWN, Conn., April 5 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say a short-term self-guided six-step program may help provide long-term help for binge eaters.

Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Wesleyan University and Rutgers University said 63 percent of binge eaters assigned to the 12-week program as part of a controlled, randomized trial stopped binging — vs. 28.3 percent of those who received usual care.

Six months later, 74 percent of program participants and 44 percent of those in usual care continued to abstain from binging. At one year, 64 percent vs. 44 percent were binge-free.

“Our studies show that recurrent binge eating can be successfully treated with a brief, easily administered program, and that’s great news for patients and their providers,” study principal investigator Ruth Striegel-Moore, a professor of psychology at Wesleyan University, said in a statement.

Striegel-Moore and colleagues conducted the 2004-2005 study with 123 Kaiser Permanente health plan members in Oregon and southwest Washington who had had at least one binge eating episode a week in the last three months.

Ninety percent of the study participants were female and the average age was 37. Program participants read “Overcoming Binge Eating” by Dr. Christopher Fairburn and attended eight sessions with cognitive behavioral counselors.

The findings are published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

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