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Nutrients 2017, 9(11), 1267; doi:10.3390/nu9111267

Public and Healthcare Professionals’ Knowledge and Attitudes toward Binge Eating Disorder: A Narrative Review

1
Regional Department for Eating Disorders, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital, N-0424 Oslo, Norway
2
Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Oslo, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 18 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Binge Eating Disorder)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [238 KB, uploaded 21 November 2017]

Abstract

Binge eating disorder (BED) is characterized by recurrent binge eating and marked distress in the absence of inappropriate compensatory behaviors for weight control. BED is prevalent in men and women, is associated with elevated psychosocial and functional impairment, and is associated strongly with obesity and related medical comorbidities. The aim is to provide a brief, state-of-the-art review of the major and recent findings to inform educational and awareness campaigns, stigma reduction interventions, as well as current clinical practice and future research. A narrative approach was used to synthesize emerging literature on the public and healthcare professionals’ knowledge and attitudes toward individuals with BED in comparison to other eating disorders (EDs) or mental illness. A total of 13 articles were reviewed. Nine studies investigated community samples and four studies investigated healthcare professionals. The reviewed literature suggested that BED is perceived by the public as less impairing, less severe, and “easier-to-treat” than other EDs. Attitudes and beliefs reflecting perceived blameworthiness and lack of self-discipline were ascribed to vignettes with BED. Community studies indicated a low level of public awareness that BED constitutes a discreet eating disorder. The literature on healthcare professionals’ knowledge and attitudes toward BED remains very limited. The few existing studies suggest encouraging trends in recognition and diagnostic accuracy, yet there remains a need for increased clinical awareness of BED-associated medical complications and knowledge of full BED diagnostic criteria. View Full-Text
Keywords: binge eating disorder; stigma; attitudes; knowledge; healthcare professionals; public; mental health literacy binge eating disorder; stigma; attitudes; knowledge; healthcare professionals; public; mental health literacy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Reas, D.L. Public and Healthcare Professionals’ Knowledge and Attitudes toward Binge Eating Disorder: A Narrative Review. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1267.

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