Lifetime obesity in patients with eating disorders: Increasing prevalence, clinical and personality correlates

Cynthia Villarejo, Fernando Fernández-Aranda, Susana Jiménez-Murcia, Eva Peñas-Lledó, Roser Granero, Eva Penelo, Francisco J. Tinahones, Carolina Sancho, Nuria Vilarrasa, Mónica Montserrat-Gil De Bernabé, Felipe F. Casanueva, Jose Manuel Fernández-Real, Gema Frühbeck, Rafael De La Torre, Janet Treasure, Cristina Botella, José Manuel Menchón

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The aims of our study were to examine the lifetime prevalence of obesity rate in eating disorders (ED) subtypes and to examine whether there have been temporal changes among the last 10years and to explore clinical differences between ED with and without lifetime obesity. Methods: Participants were 1383 ED female patients (DSM-IV criteria) consecutively admitted, between 2001 and 2010, to Bellvitge University Hospital. They were assessed by means of the Eating Disorders Inventory-2, the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, the Bulimic Investigatory Test Edinburgh and the Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised. Results: The prevalence of lifetime obesity in ED cases was 28.8% (ranging from 5% in anorexia nervosa to 87% in binge-eating disorders). Over the last 10years, there has been a threefold increase in lifetime obesity in ED patients (p<.001). People with an ED and obesity had higher levels of childhood and family obesity (p<.001), a later age of onset and longer ED duration; and had higher levels of eating, general and personality symptomatology. Conclusions: Over the last 10years, the prevalence of obesity associated with disorders characterized by the presence of binge episodes, namely bulimic disorders, is increasing, and this is linked with greater clinical severity and a poorer prognosis. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-254
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012


  • eating disorders
  • obesity
  • personality
  • psychopathology


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