Prevalence and Associated Risk Factors for Eating Behavior Disorders in First Visits of Outpatients to a Weight Management Clinic

Pei-Chia Huang), Hsiao-Ying Wu, Chin-Sung Chang, Kuo Ting Lee, Mei-Chih Tseng, Chiu Ying Chen, Su-E Kuo) Kuo, Wei-Tseng Chen, Yu-Chen Shih, Shih-Yun Huang, Lung Yu, Chih Hsing Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Overweight subjects may have a higher prevalence of eating disorders but poorer therapeutic responses if treated inappropriately. However, few studies have been reported in Taiwan. This study evaluated the prevalence of eating behavior disorders and associated risk factors in a weight management clinic. Methods: From January 2004 to June 2012, a total of 293 males and 523 females aged≥18 y/o (mean=36.0±11.5) and with body mass index ≥ 24 kg/m^2 (mean=34.7±7.2) making their first visit to a weight management clinic were enrolled in the study. Chart records, demographic data, self-reported SCOFF questionnaire results, and weight-related variables were analyzed. Eating behavior disorders were defined as having a SCOFF score≥2. Results: Among the 816 subjects, average SCOFF score was 1.0±1.0; 253 subjects (31.1%) were diagnosed with eating behavior disorders. Compared with males, females showed higher monthly rate of desired weight loss goals (p=0.037), higher weight loss (p≤0.001), and higher weight loss drug usage (p≤0.001). However, there was no significant difference in SCOFF scores between genders. Mean SCOFF score was highest in the most severely obese group (p=0.034). Using a logistic regression model, age (OR=0.964, 95% CI=0.950-0.979, p<0.001), overeating (OR=1.965, 95% CI=1.361-2.837, p<0.001), and emotional distress (OR=1.612, 95% CI=1.141- 2.277, p=0.007) were independent risk factors for eating behavior disorders. Conclusions: The prevalence of eating behavior disorders screened by SCOFF questionnaires was 31.1% in a weight management clinic. Patients who were younger, with self-rated obesity from overeating, or emotionally distressed, had a higher risk of eating behavior disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-202
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2013

Cite this