Self-recognition of disordered eating among women with buimic-type eating disorders: a commmunity-based study




Mond, J M
Hay, Phillipa J
Owen, Cathy
Rodgers, Bryan

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Wiley-VCH Verlag GMBH


Objective: Self-recognition of eating-disordered behavior was examined in a community sample of young adult women (n = 158) with bulimic eating disorders. Method: A vignette was presented describing a fictional person meeting diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa. Participants were asked whether they might currently have a problem such as the one described. Scores on measures of eating disorder psychopathology, functional impairment and general psychological distress were compared between participants who recognized a problem with their eating and those who did not. Results: Participants who recognized a problem with their eating (n = 86, 51.9%) had higher levels of eating disorder psychopathology and general psychological distress, were more likely to engage in self-induced vomiting, and tended to be heavier, than those who did not (n = 72, 48.1%). In addition, participants who recognized a problem were more likely to have received treatment for an eating or weight problem. In multivariate analysis, the occurrence of self-induced vomiting and higher body weight were the only variables significantly associated with recognition. Conclusion: Poor recognition of eating-disordered behavior may be conducive to low or inappropriate treatment seeking among individuals with bulimic-type eating disorders. The perception that only disorders involving self-induced vomiting are pathological may need to be addressed in prevention programs.



Keywords: adult; article; attitude to health; attitude to illness; Australia; body weight; bulimia; community; distress syndrome; eating disorder; female; functional disease; human; major clinical study; mental health; multivariate analysis; priority journal; scori Bulimia nervosa; Eating disorders; Mental health literacy; Recognition



International Journal of Eating Disorders


Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights



Restricted until