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January 1, 1982

'Pigging Out'

JAMA. 1982;247(1):82. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320260060036

A RANGE of dietary patterns in which a person varies his or her intake of food from excess to nothing may be far more common than is generally recognized. Postpubertal girls and women are chiefly affected. Perhaps it is less common in men because a degree of corpulence is more acceptable for them. There is no doubt that innumerable women control their weight at their desired level through fasting, vomiting, or purging—by means of laxatives, enemas, and diuretics—to compensate for overeating. The overeating may range from true bulimia and serious binge eating to moderate excesses incompatible with the maintenance of the desired trim figure. In Western society, a premium is currently placed on extreme thinness, particularly among women of upper socioeconomic groups. Stylish dresses and the popularity of pants for women emphasize the trend. It is possible that a similar expectation of thinness may eventually affect men, as suggested by