A new study examined the effectiveness of Behavioral Weight Loss (BWL) versus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for the treatment of Binge Eating Disorder (BED) in obese clients. “The association between BED and obesity and the possible heightened risk for developing future metabolic problems highlight the need to find methods to effectively reduce weight—in addition to eliminating binge eating—in persons with BED,” said the team comprised of researchers from the Yale University School of Medicine, The Yale University School of Public Health, Rutgers and The State University of New Jersey.
The researchers evaluated 125 individuals between the ages of 18 and 60 for their study. All of the participants had an elevated body mass index and met the criteria for binge-eating. The subjects were divided into three groups: one received CBT for 24 weeks, the second received only BWL for 24 weeks, and the third received CBT followed by BWL. “Our findings indicate that CBT and BWL are effective for treating BED, produce benefits that are durable through 12 months post-treatment, but fail to produce substantial weight losses,” said the team. Primarily, they noted that the combination of CBT and BWL provided results that were relatively close to the overall weight loss achieved by CBT or BWL alone.
However, the researchers did discover that the participants who experienced a decrease in binge-eating behaviors in the early stages of treatment saw the most sustainable results. The researchers noted that this fact underscores the importance of targeting that specific behavior, either through CBT or BWL or a combination of both. “Patients who achieved binge-eating abstinence at post-treatment had a mean 4.3% BMI loss at 6-month follow-up, and patients who were binge abstinent at 6-month follow-up had a mean 3.5% BMI loss at 12-month follow-up,” said the team. “These findings suggest that stopping binge eating may play a role in subsequent weight control.”
Grilo, C. M., Masheb, R. M., Wilson, G. T., Gueorguieva, R., & White, M. A. (2011, August 22). Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy, Behavioral Weight Loss, and Sequential Treatment for Obese Patients With Binge-Eating Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0025049
© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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