Binge Eating Disorder
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Scientific Breakthroughs & Caregiver Tips
Is Binge Eating Disorder Hereditary?
Eating disorders, in general, tend to occur more often within families with a history of the disorders than in the general population. Recent research has looked at binge eating disorder, in particular, to determine if the disorder can be inherited, and there appears to be strong evidence that the disorder does, in fact, run in families.
- A study in Norway looked at the occurrence of binge eating disorders in young-adult twins between the ages of 18 and 31. The study concluded that the heritability rate of binge eating disorders in these twins was about 41%, as compared to an occurrence rate of about 3% in the general population.
- A study conducted between 2002 and 2004 in Boston looked at the prevalence of the disorder in families. The Boston researchers compared their results to those of the Norwegian researchers and concluded that the new data showed an even higher heritability rate of about 57%.
These studies and others strongly suggest that there are some factors contributing to the development of binge eating disorder that can be passed down through families and that the disorder is not merely the result of external environmental factors.
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