Binge Eating Increases Diabetes Risk

Published Online: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Young women who frequently binge eat are at an increased risk for developing diabetes, regardless of their body mass index (BMI), researchers reported on November 13, 2013, at Obesity Week in Atlanta, Georgia.

The study looked at data collected from the ongoing Growing Up Today Study to evaluate the association between binge eating and diabetes in 4323 adolescent girls and young adults aged 13 to 30 years. Based on eating disorder information collected from 1996 to 1999, the researchers predicted the onset of diabetes between 2000 and 2010. Participants reported physician-diagnosed diabetes in 2010. Those with T1DM were excluded from the study.

From 2000 to 2010, 34 cases of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) were reported. From 1996 to 1999, only 104 girls binge ate on a weekly basis and just 83 met criteria for binge eating disorder. Regardless of age, BMI, and maternal history of diabetes, girls who were frequent binge eaters were 5 times more likely to develop diabetes than those who did not binge. Those who met criteria for binge eating disorder were at the greatest risk for developing diabetes. Girls who only binged occasionally, however, were not at an increased risk for diabetes.

The eating behavior requires a large insulin response, which could be responsible for the increased diabetes risk observed in the study.

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