I weigh therefore I am: Implications of using different criteria to define overvaluation of weight and shape in binge-eating disorder.
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OBJECTIVE: Research suggests that overvaluation of weight and shape is a clinical feature in binge-eating disorder (BED). However, this construct has been differentially defined in the literature even when using the same measure. Here we compare two cut-offs that have previously been used to differentiate clinical and subthreshold overvaluation using the EDE-Q. METHOD: Individuals with BED (n = 72, 93% female) and no history of an eating disorder (NED; n = 21, 91% female) completed measures of eating disorder (ED) and general psychopathology online. Individuals with BED were categorized as having clinical or subthreshold overvaluation using two different cut-offs used in previous studies. The clinical, subthreshold, and NED groups were compared on ED and general psychopathology. The association between overvaluation and psychopathology was also assessed in the BED and NED groups. RESULTS: The two cut-offs yielded identical results, with individuals in the clinical overvaluation group reporting greater ED psychopathology than those in the subthreshold and NED groups. When considered as a continuous variable, overvaluation was a significant predictor of both ED-related and general psychopathology. DISCUSSION: The two cut-offs yielded identical results, likely due to the high internal consistency between overvaluation items. Under such circumstances, the use of either cut-off seems appropriate. However, given the associations reported in the regression analyses, we propose that considering overvaluation as a dimensional variable, rather than a categorical one, may have greater utility.