Advancements in Disordered Eating Assessment Core

The Disordered Eating Assessment Core as made important contributions to our understanding of the treatment, course, and outcome of obesity and eating disorders. These advances have occurred in several areas.

Structured Assessments and Technology in Eating Disorders

The Disordered Eating Assessment Core works at the forefront of the assessment of disordered eating and has contributed to our understanding of using structured assessments and newer technologies, including the use of ecological momentary assessment in studying both anorexia nervosa and obesity.

Eating Disorder Treatments

Second, efforts are ongoing to develop better treatments for eating disorders and the Core has supporting four such federally-funded studies (Stepped Care for Bulimia Nervosa, R01MH59234, S. Crow, PI; Ondansetron for Bulimia Nervosa, R01DK52291, P. Faris, PI; Vagal Nerve Stimulator Treatment for Bulimia Nervosa, R01DK065167, P. Faris, PI; and group treatments for binge eating disorder, R01DK61982, S. Crow, PI) plus numerous additional small pilot studies involving treatment development. Dr Crow published an editorial in JAMA on the use of medications in the treatment of Anorexia Nervosa (Crow SJ. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2006, 295:22 [2659-2660]).

Pathophysiology Studies in Eating Disorders

Third, the core provides support for federally-funded studies of the pathophysiology underlying obesity in eating disorders (for example, Metabolic function in binge eating disorder; N. Raymond, PI; also, Obesity as a risk factor for psychopathology; K. Boutelle, PI). The Core also supports innovative pathophysiology pilot studies (for example, a study of serotonin depletion in subjects with anorexia nervosa and their siblings, M. Luciana, PI). Finally, the core provides increasing focus on the cost effectiveness of treatments and the cost burden of disordered eating.

Health Care Costs of Eating Disorders

The Disordered Eating Behavior Core increasingly works in the area of health care costs. Two of the four treatment trials recently supported by the core include some of the most through attempts to date to examine the cost efficacy of various treatments for eating disorders and another such trial involving CEA is beginning. In addition, the work supported by the core has resulted in a published manuscript examining cost efficacy of anorexia nervosa treatment. The Core has provided cost effectiveness analysis consultation for a grant submitted by an MNOC Investigator (K. Boutelle, Ph.D.) The core director, Dr. Crow, currently holds a K02 award from NIMH which focuses in part on health care economics studies. Dr Crow gave an invited Plenary talk on Cost Effectiveness Analysis in Treatment Research at the 2006 Eating Disorders Research Society meeting in Port Douglas, Australia in August 2006.

Partnerships with Eating Disorder and Metabolism Researchers

There continues to be a substantial amount of interaction between the Disordered Eating Behavior Core and metabolism researchers, both in terms of combined support for Dr. Raymond’s project as well as consultation by the core to the Metabolic Studies Core regarding the assessment of eating behaviors and other psychopathology in metabolic studies and in the development of treatments for obesity used in metabolic investigations. Also, the Disordered Eating Behavior Core is collaborating with Dr. Allen Levine on a study of dietary restraint in the general population. Finally, a number of Division of Epidemiology investigators utilize the Disordered Eating Behavior Core.