Classifying binge eating-disordered adolescents based on severity levels

Antonios Dakanalis, Maria Assunta Zanetti, Fabrizia Colmegna, Giuseppe Riva, Massimo Clerici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


The new severity criterion for binge-eating disorder (BED), introduced by the most recent (fifth) edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as a means of addressing within-group variability in severity, was tested in 223 Italian (13-18-year-old) adolescents (86.1% females) with (DSM-5) BED presenting for treatment. Analyses revealed that participants classified with mild (35.9% of the sample), moderate (38.1%) severe (13.4%), and extreme (12.6%) severity of BED, based on their clinician-rated weekly frequency of binge-eating (BE) episodes, were statistically distinguishable in physical characteristics (body mass index) and a range of clinical variables regarding eating-related psychopathology and putative maintenance factors, health-related quality of life, and mood and anxiety disorder comorbidity (medium-to-large effect sizes). Between-group differences in age-at-onset of BED or demographics were not detected. The findings provide support for the utility of BE frequency as a severity criterion for BED in adolescence. Implications for future studies are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Binge-eating disorder
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental Health
  • Psychopathology
  • Quality of life
  • Severity
  • Social Psychology
  • Youth


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