Poster Presentation Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting

Escalating prevalence of comorbid obesity and binge eating: 20-year cross sectional data from South Australia, 1995 to 2015 (#266)

Felipe Quinto da Luz 1 2 3 , Amanda Salis 1 3 , Haider Mannan 4 , Stephen Touyz 3 , Phillipa Hay 4
  1. The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  2. CAPES Foundation, Ministry of Education of Brazil, Brasilia, DF, Brazil
  3. School of Psychology, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  4. School of Medicine and Centre for Health Research, Western Sydney University, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Obesity and binge eating are conditions that are often studied and treated separately. However, examination of the comorbid occurrence of these two public health concerns is important, because binge eating is known to contribute to the onset and maintenance of obesity and vice-versa. Method: Data from large cross-sectional representative community samples of people from South Australia in the years of 1995 (n=2,768), 2005 (n=2,813) and 2015 (n=2,746) were analyzed. Data collection was performed by Harrison Research using the Health Omnibus Survey. This structured, self-report interview comprises demographic and health-related questions, including height, weight and binge eating. Questions regarding binge eating were derived from the “gold standard” instrument for assessment of eating disorders, namely the Eating Disorders Examination, and assessed the frequency of participants’ binge eating episodes (overeating accompanied by a sense of loss of control over eating). Comparisons were conducted regarding the prevalence of obesity, recurrent binge eating (one or more episodes per week during the last three months) and their co-occurrence. Results: The prevalence of obesity increased from 1995 to 2005 (from 12.8% to 19.2%) and from 2005 to 2015 (from 19.2% to 25.2%). The prevalence of recurrent binge eating also increased from 1995 to 2005 (from 3.1% to 7.2%), and from 2005 to 2015 (from 7.2% to 13%). The prevalence of people with comorbid obesity and recurrent binge eating increased from 1995 to 2005 (from 0.8% to 2.7%), and from 2005 to 2015 (from 2.7% to 5%). Conclusion: There was an increase in South Australia during the 20 years from 1995 to 2015 in the independent prevalence of obesity and recurrent binge eating. However, the highest increase (6.2-fold) was in the prevalence of comorbid obesity with recurrent binge eating. More attention to factors triggering obesity and binge eating – as well as their simultaneous treatment – is indicated.