Binge eating disorder (BED) is associated with several psychological and medical problems, such as obesity. Approximately 30% of individuals seeking weight loss treatments present binge eating symptomatology. Moreover, current treatments for BED lack efficacy at follow-up assessments. Developing mindfulness and self-compassion seem to be beneficial in treating BED, although there is still room for improvement, which may include integrating these different but complimentary approaches. BEfree is the first program integrating psychoeducation-, mindfulness-, and compassion-based components for treating women with binge eating and obesity. Objective: To test the acceptability and efficacy up to 6-month postintervention of a psychological program based on psychoeducation, mindfulness, and self-compassion for obese or overweight women with BED. Design: A controlled longitudinal design was followed in order to compare results between BEfree (n = 19) and waiting list group (WL; n = 17) from preintervention to postintervention. Results from BEfree were compared from preintervention to 3- and 6-month follow-up. Results: BEfree was effective in eliminating BED; in diminishing eating psychopathology, depression, shame and self-criticism, body-image psychological inflexibility, and body-image cognitive fusion; and in improving obesity-related quality of life and self-compassion when compared to a WL control group. Results were maintained at 3- and 6-month follow-up. Finally, participants rated BEfree helpful for dealing with impulses and negative internal experiences. Conclusions: These results seem to suggest the efficacy of BEfree and the benefit of integrating different components such as psychoeducation, mindfulness, and self-compassion when treating BED in obese or overweight women. Key Practitioner Message: The current study provides evidence of the acceptability of a psychoeducation, mindfulness, and compassion program for binge eating in obesity (BEfree); Developing mindfulness and self-compassionate skills is an effective way of diminishing binge eating, eating psychopathology and depression, and increasing quality of life in women with obesity; Integrating psychoeducation, mindfulness, and compassion seem to be effective in diminishing binge eating, with results maintained up to 6-month postintervention.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
FCT (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology), Grant/Award Number: PTDC/ MHC‐PCL/4923/2012.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- binge eating
- efficacy study