Personality traits have been studied extensively in this population, leading to different, and at times conflicting, results. Subtyping BED people along these features could add to our knowledge of the disorder.
The authors applied a two-step cluster analysis, followed by bootstrapping validation, to the Temperament and Character Inventory scores of 462 subjects affected by obesity and BED or subthreshold BED.
Subjects were grouped into two separate clusters. Interestingly, the categorization in clusters 1 and 2 did not appear to strictly overlap with the distinction between BED and subthreshold BED.
The first cluster showed higher harm avoidance and a lower self-directedness. Cluster 1 patients had higher depression, higher eating impulsivity, greater problems with their body image and poorer quality of life than cluster 2 patients.
Overall, results seem to confirm the heterogeneity of the binge eater population and suggest the importance of harm avoidance and self-directedness to subtype these subjects.
These results could generate exploratory works regarding personality in obese people with BED to discover more targeted treatments.
Study: An Exploratory Study to Subtype Obese Binge Eaters by Personality Traits, Leombruni P., Rocca G., Fassino S., Gastaldi F., Nicotra B., Siccardi S., Lavagnino L., Psychotherapy and Pschosomatics, DOI:10.1159/000356810, published March 2014.
Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics