Assessing binge eating. An analysis of data previously collected in bingeing rats

R. K. Babbs, F. H.E. Wojnicki, R. L.W. Corwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


As interest in the study of binge eating has increased, several measures of bingeing have been developed for use in animal models. Two of the measures that have been used to distinguish binge-type from normal intake in animal studies are: (1) comparing intake at a given point in time between groups, and (2) assessing escalation of intake across time within groups. Here we use both of these measures to reanalyze data from 10 previous bingeing experiments conducted in our lab. Additionally, the data from two of these studies were then restructured in order to evaluate the use of these measures in binge eating prone (BEP) and resistant (BER) rats, as described by others. Analyses comparing intake at a given point in time indicated bingeing in all 10 studies, while comparisons of escalation indicated bingeing in 9 out of 10 studies. The goal of this study was to compare and contrast the two measures, identify the strengths and weaknesses of each, and determine their appropriateness for a given set of potential outcomes. The results indicate that both intake and escalation are useful measures. However, their limitations need to be taken into consideration when attempting to operationalize binge-type eating in animal models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-482
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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