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 Mobile Tech and Talk Therapies Strike at the Moment Binge Eating Urges Do

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Date posted: 02/10/2013

Two new treatment methods under investigation at Drexel University aim to help people reduce binge-eating behavior.

A smartphone app in development will track users’ individual patterns of eating and binge eating behavior and alert them at times when they are at risk for binge behaviors, among a comprehensive suite of other features.

Another treatment is a new, evidence-based approach to small-group behavioral therapy that will equip patients with psychological tools that may help them adhere to, and benefit from, standard treatments for binge eating disorder.

Binge eating disorder, characterized by periods of eating objectively large amounts of food, is “associated with a great deal of clinical distress,” said Dr. Evan Forman, an associate professor of psychology in Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences, co-director, with Dr. Meghan Butryn, of the Laboratory for Innovations in Health-Related Behavior Change, where both studies are being conducted.

Binge eating disorder, only recently identified as an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, was found to be about twice as common as bulimia nervosa in a large international survey published earlier this week.

People who engage in binge eating behavior may feel ashamed, out of control and isolated because they may not know others with the disorder, or even know they have a clinically recognized disorder.

The most scientifically supported treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), leads to remission for only between 50-60 percent of individuals who complete a full course of treatment.

“It could be improved,” Forman said. “These two studies are an attempt to improve treatments for binge eating.”

See the full Story via external site: drexel.edu



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