BackgroundLoss of control (LOC) eating in youth predicts excessive weight gain. However, few studies have measured the actual energy intake of children reporting LOC eating.
ObjectiveThe objective was to characterize the energy intake and macronutrient composition of "normal" and "binge" laboratory meals in nonoverweight and overweight boys and girls with LOC eating.
DesignChildren aged 8-17 y (n = 177) consumed 2 lunchtime meals ad libitum from a multi-item food array after being instructed to either binge eat (binge meal) or to eat normally (normal meal). Prior LOC eating was determined with a semistructured clinical interview.
ResultsParticipants consumed more energy at the binge meal than at the normal meal (P = 0.001). Compared with youth with no LOC episodes (n = 127), those reporting LOC (n = 50) did not consume more energy at either meal. However, at both meals, youth with LOC consumed a greater percentage of calories from carbohydrates and a smaller percentage from protein than did those without LOC (P < 0.05). Children with LOC ate more snack and dessert-type foods and less meats and dairy (P < 0.05). LOC participants also reported greater increases in postmeal negative affect at both meals than did those without LOC (P < or = 0.05). Secondary analyses restricted to overweight and obese girls found that those with LOC consumed more energy at the binge meal (P = 0.025).
ConclusionsWhen presented with an array of foods, youth with LOC consumed more high-calorie snack and dessert-type foods than did those without LOC. Further research is required to determine whether habitual consumption of such foods may promote overweight. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00320177.