Associations between meal patterns, binge eating, and weight for Latinas

Fary M. Cachelin*, Colleen Thomas, Alyssa Vela, Virginia Gil-Rivas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Establishing a regular pattern of eating is a core element of treatment for binge eating, yet no research to date has examined meal patterns of Latina women. Objective: Compare eating patterns of Latinas who binge eat and those who do not, and examine associations between meal patterns and binge episodes, associated distress and concerns, and body mass index (BMI). Method: One-hundred fifty-five Latinas [65 Binge Eating Disorder (BED), 22 Bulimia Nervosa (BN), 68 with no eating disorder] were assessed with the Eating Disorder Examination. Results: There were no significant differences in eating patterns between groups. Breakfast was the least and dinner the most consumed meal. For the BED group: greater frequency of lunch consumption was associated with higher BMI while more frequent evening snacking was associated with lower BMI and with less weight importance; more frequent breakfast consumption, mid-morning snack consumption and total meals were associated with greater distress regarding binge eating. For the BN group, evening snack frequency was associated with less dietary restriction and more weight and shape concern; total snack frequency was associated with more weight concern. Regular meal eaters reported more episodes of binge eating than those who did not eat meals regularly. Discussion: Associations with meal patterns differed by eating disorder diagnosis. Study findings mostly are not consistent with results from prior research on primarily White women. CBT treatments may need to be tailored to address the association between binge eating and regular meal consumption for Latinas. Culturally, appropriate modifications that address traditional eating patterns should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Latina
  • binge eating
  • eating disorder
  • meal patterns
  • weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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