Effectiveness of lifestyle interventions to reduce binge eating symptoms in African American and Hispanic women

Scherezade K. Mama, Susan M. Schembre, Daniel P. O'Connor, Charles D. Kaplan, Sharon Bode, Rebecca Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: Lifestyle interventions that promote physical activity and healthy dietary habits may reduce binge eating symptoms and be more feasible and sustainable among ethnic minority women, who are less likely to seek clinical treatment for eating disorders. The purpose of this study was to investigate (1) whether participating in a lifestyle intervention is a feasible way to decrease binge eating symptoms (BES) and (2) whether changes in BES differed by intervention (physical activity vs. dietary habits) and binge eating status at baseline (binger eater vs. non-binge eater) in African American and Hispanic women. Method: Health Is Power (HIP) was a longitudinal randomized controlled trial to promote physical activity and improve dietary habits. Women (. N=180) who completed anthropometric measures and questionnaires assessing fruit and vegetable and dietary fat intake, BES and demographics at baseline and post-intervention six months later were included in the current study. Results: Over one-fourth (27.8%) of participants were categorized as binge-eaters. Repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated significant two- and three-way interactions. Decreases in BES over time were greater in binge eaters than in non-binge eaters (. F(1,164)=33.253, p<.001), and women classified as binge eaters who participated in the physical activity intervention reported greater decreases in BES than non-binge eaters in the dietary habits intervention (. F(1,157)=5.170, p=.024). Discussion: Findings suggest behavioral interventions to increase physical activity may lead to reductions in BES among ethnic minority women and ultimately reduce the prevalence of binge eating disorder and health disparities in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-274
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Binge eating disorder
  • Energy intake
  • Exercise
  • Intervention study
  • Minority health
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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