Saturday, April 18, 2009

The perfection model of binge eating

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

8 comments:

700stories said...

very interesting! thanks for posting this.

Kara said...

I'm glad you posted this!!

Insanity Lite said...

Interesting study. Thanks for sharing.

Carrie Arnold said...

Really interesting, Tiptoe! I will have to look at that dissertation a little closer.

Thanks!

Tiptoe said...

Glad all of you found this interesting.

Carie, I skimmed the dissertation. There is some interesting stuff in there at least from a theoretical perspective.

curioustudent said...

Thanks for posting this, Tiptoe. Its good to see that there is more extensive research being done on perfectionists. Basically, most people overlook the fact that perfectionists can be binge eaters because there is an essentialist viewpoint that perfectionists are anorexic or binge and purge. As a result of this preconceived characteristic, research and aid is hindered for perfectionists who battle other disordered eating patterns.

Tiptoe said...

Curioustudent, exactly. It is important to look at all realms of perfectionism.

Gaining Back My Life said...

VERY interesting. You find the coolest articles. I'm def. an SPP.