Palmieri, S., Gentile, N., Da Ros, A., & Spada, M. M. (2021). Profiling metacognition in binge eating disorder. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 39(2), 163-171.


Research has shown that metacognition may play a role in problem eating. In this study we explored whether aspects of metacognition are relevant to the understanding of binge eating in patients with Binge Eating Disorder. We aimed to ascertain: (1) the presence of metacognitive beliefs about binge eating; (2) the goal of, and stop signal for, binge eating; and (3) the impact of binge eating on self-consciousness. Ten Binge Eating Disorder patients took part in the study and were assessed using the metacognitive profiling semi-structured interview. Results suggested that all patients endorsed both positive and negative metacognitive beliefs about binge eating. The goals of binge eating were stop thinking about personal concerns and improve emotional state. All patients reported that they did not know when these goals had been reached. The stop signals for binge eating included physical discomfort, beliefs about binge eating not being the best way to solve problems, and environmental stimuli. All patients also confirmed that a reduction in self-consciousness occurred during a binge eating episode. The results of this study confirm that metacognition may indeed be relevant to the understanding of Binge Eating Disorder.