Evaluating an Intuitive Eating Program for Binge Eating Disorder: A Benchmarking Study

Doctoral Dissertation


Studies suggest that the prevalence of binge eating disorder in the obese population ranges between 30 and 55 percent (Munsch et al., 2007; Wilfley, Agras, Telch, Rossiter, Schneider, Cole, et al., 1993). Research and practice psychologists have come to view binge eating as a mental health issue. Yet, obese people often attempt to resolve binge eating through dieting although dieting fails to address the underlying sources of the behavior. This study of Intuitive Eating (Tribole & Resch, 2003) employed an eight-week group treatment for binge eating disorder that encompassed components of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Outcome results were benchmarked against the efficacy of existing treatments; no significant differences in binge abstinence levels were found between the present study and existing treatments. Binge abstinence rates of the current study were significantly different from those found in non-equivalent control groups. Self-reported anxiety and depression were explored as potential predictors of outcome, but were non-significant. The relationship between psychological reactance and binge frequency at pre-treatment was examined and the association was non-significant. Overall, participants experienced significant improvement over the course of the study, suggesting that further research into Intuitive Eating as a treatment for eating disorders is warranted.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-05052010-084449

Author Delores (Lora) Anne Smitham
Advisor David Smith PhD
Contributor Gerald Haeffel PhD, Committee Member
Contributor David Smith PhD, Committee Chair
Contributor Valerie Staples MSW, Committee Member
Contributor Alexandra Corning PhD, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Psychology
Degree Name PhD
Defense Date
  • 2008-12-12

Submission Date 2010-05-05
  • United States of America

  • eating disorders

  • binge eating disorder

  • intuitive eating

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


Please Note: You may encounter a delay before a download begins. Large or infrequently accessed files can take several minutes to retrieve from our archival storage system.