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Effective Health Care Program

Management and Outcomes of Binge-Eating Disorder in Adults: Current State of the Evidence


This CME activity is hosted on the Baylor College of Medicine CME Web site (

Course Overview

In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) recognized BED as a distinct eating disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). In the shift from provisional to formal diagnosis of BED, the APA changed the criteria for frequency and duration of BED based on the expanded peer-reviewed literature, thereby bringing both criteria in line with those for bulimia nervosa. The lifetime prevalence of BED among adults in the United States is 2.8 percent based on DSM-IV criteria; it is likely to be slightly higher based on DSM-5 criteria. BED tends to be slightly more common in women and is more common among individuals who are overweight or obese. BED is associated with significant impairment in roles related to education or employment and dissatisfaction with personal relationships. It is also considered a substantial health problem separate from obesity and may be independently related to chronic pain, other psychiatric disorders, and diabetes.

BED treatment includes various approaches that target the core behavioral and psychological features of the condition and mood regulation. Psychological and behavioral therapy interventions include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. In January 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved lisdexamfetamine, a central nervous system stimulant, as a treatment for BED. Other commonly used pharmacological interventions include anticonvulsants and antidepressants.

Educational Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the participant should be able to:

  • Describe the evidence regarding the efficacy, comparative effectiveness, and harms of psychological and behavioral therapy and medications used in treating adults with BED.
  • Discuss gaps in the current evidence base and future research needs regarding the comparative effectiveness of treatments for adults with BED.

Target Audience

This CME activity is designed to meet the educational needs of primary care physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other health care professionals who treat adults with BED.

Method of Participation

This activity is in PDF and HTML formats and is accompanied by references linked to PubMed abstracts.

To receive a maximum of 0.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ you should:

  • View the materials in this enduring material.
  • Complete the posttest (you must answer 4 out of 5 questions correctly).
  • Complete and submit the CME registration and evaluation forms.

The estimated time to complete this activity, including review of the materials, is 0.50 hour(s).

Accreditation/Credit Designation

Baylor College of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Baylor College of Medicine designates this enduring material activity for a maximum of 0.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Term of Approval

May 2016 through May 2018. Original release date: May 2016

Acknowledgement of Support

This CME activity is supported by a contract, HHSA290201410015C, from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.