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Translational Approach to Understanding Factors Influencing Binge Eating in Women with Bulimia Nervosa

Title: Translational Approach to Understanding Factors Influencing Binge Eating in Women with Bulimia Nervosa.
Name(s): Bodell, Lindsay P. (Lindsay Pratt), author
Keel, Pamela K., professor co-directing dissertation
Joiner, Thomas, Jr., professor co-directing dissertation
Levenson, Cathy W., university representative
Taylor, Jeanette E., committee member
Eckel, Lisa A., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Arts and Sciences, degree granting college
Department of Psychology, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2015
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (89 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Bulimia nervosa (BN) is a serious eating disorder characterized by binge episodes and compensatory behaviors. It often persists for several years and is associated with increased medical complications and risk of death, underscoring the need to better understand factors maintaining this disorder. Weight suppression (WS), the difference between one's highest previous and current weight, has been found to predict both the onset and maintenance of BN. However, no studies have examined mechanisms that may account for the effects of WS on BN. We hypothesized that high WS would lead to reduced leptin levels. Reduced leptin may increase risk of binge eating, given leptin's role in modulating reward responses, including responses to food. The current study examined the relationship between WS, leptin levels, and the reinforcing value of food in women with BN (n=32) and non-eating disorder controls (n=30). Participants provided information on WS, completed a fasting blood draw to obtain serum leptin, and completed a novel progressive ratio task to measure the reinforcing value of food. Individuals with BN had significantly greater WS (p=.001) and reinforcing food value (p=.01) compared to controls. Additionally, higher WS was associated with both lower leptin (p=.02) and increased reinforcing value of food (p<.01). Contrary to our hypotheses, BN and control participants did not differ on leptin levels, and leptin levels were not associated with the reinforcing value of food. Overall, findings support that efforts to conform to the thin ideal may alter drive to consume rewarding foods and leave women vulnerable to binge episodes; however, the mechanisms through which WS contributes to food reward and binge eating remain unknown. Given limitations of the current study, future studies should use longitudinal designs and examine other hormones (e.g., ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide 1) to better understand factors driving associations between WS and bulimic symptoms.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-9554 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2015.
Date of Defense: July 8, 2014.
Keywords: Bulimia Nervosa, Eating Disorders, Food Reward, Leptin, Weight Suppression
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Pamela K. Keel, Professor Co-Directing Dissertation; Thomas E. Joiner, Professor Co-Directing Dissertation; Cathy Levenson, University Representative; Jeanette Taylor, Committee Member; Lisa Eckel, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Psychology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Bodell, L. P. (L. P. ). (2015). Translational Approach to Understanding Factors Influencing Binge Eating in Women with Bulimia Nervosa. Retrieved from