Weight suppression predicts weight change over 5years in bulimia nervosa

David B. Herzog*, J. Graham Thomas, Andrea E. Kass, Kamryn T. Eddy, Debra L. Franko, Michael R. Lowe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent studies suggest that weight suppression (WS), defined as the discrepancy between current and highest past weight, predicts short-term weight gain in bulimia nervosa (BN) during treatment. The current study was designed to build on this preliminary work by examining the relation between WS and long-term weight change in BN. Treatment-seeking women (N=97) with DSM-IV BN participated in a naturalistic longitudinal follow-up study of eating disorders. At intake, height and weight were measured and highest past weight was assessed. Self-reported weights were collected every 6. months for 5. years. Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) estimated growth curves for weight change over time. Significant inter-person variability was detected for intercepts and slopes (P<0.001) so both were treated as random effects. Participants' weights increased over the study course, moderated by baseline WS (P<0.001), such that higher WS predicted more rapid weight gain. Weight change was not associated with entry weight, height, or highest-ever weight, suggesting that WS per se predicted weight change. These findings complement previous short-term studies in BN by demonstrating that WS predicts weight gain over 5. years. Because weight gain could spur radical dieting that maintains BN, these results have important treatment implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-334
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume177
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010

Keywords

  • BMI
  • Eating disorders
  • Longitudinal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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