Most of us know about the correlations between perfectionism and anorexia and bulimia, however, a new study is looking at binge eating. Simon Sherry, a graduate student at the University of Dalhousie, recently published a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, explaining the perfectionism model of binge eating. (PMOBE) "According to the PMOBE, perfectionism confers vulnerability to binge eating by generating encounters with and by magnifying responses to specific triggers of binge eating: namely, perceived discrepancies, low self-esteem, depressive affect, and dietary restraint." (from Sherry's dissertation of PMOBE)
To test this theory, 566 undergraduates completed a web-based structured daily diary for 7 days. Results indicated that individuals who had socially prescribed perfectionism (SPP), a type of perfectionism when one feels others are evaluating them critically, were more at risk for binge eating through triggers versus those who had self oriented perfectionism (SOP), perfectionism where one is self critical. It is also noted that perfectionism in general harbored exposure to binge eating triggers, however, it was not of the same magnitude. More specific information on the study can be read at the above link (all 259 pages!)
The significance of this study is that it shows a wider variation of perfectionists other than the typical anorexic which has been revealed through much literature. Although this study makes sense, at the same time, I don't think a lot of people would guess perfectionism, especially the SPP type, would be associated with binge eating. These researchers hope that this will result in better care, assessment, and treatment to help perfectionists with disordered eating.
Other information at: Binge eating: when perfection unravels
Perfectionism in women with binge eating disorder