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National Institute of Mental Health grant awarded to researchers studying binge eating disorder


eating disorders often get the short end of the stick when it comes to scientific research – many medical professionals and organizations don't believe the topic is relevant enough to merit more studies or trials that may improve treatment methods.

That's why a recent grant awarded to Steve Wonderlich, from the University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, is so encouraging. The money was provided by the National Institute of Mental Health to study a new treatment for binge eating disorder. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 4 million Americans suffer from the condition – and the numbers are growing.

Study looks for high-risk moments

Wonderlich also chairs Sanford Health's Eating Disorder Department, and his project will involve testing a new treatment that was developed jointly at the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute in Fargo and the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Identifying high-risk moments that trigger binge eating episodes and helping patients implement several different strategies to cope with these situations is the focus of the research.

"Binge eating disorder is a condition which significantly impairs peoples' lives and increases their risk of significant medical complications," Wonderlich said. "New treatments for binge eating disorder are clearly needed and we are looking forward to completing the trial and hopefully establishing another effective treatment."

The grant covers a three-year period and will also fund a randomized controlled trial that compares Wonderlich's treatment to typical treatment for binge eating disorder, which is cognitive behavioral therapy.

Source: Sanford Health

Photo credit: Joo Young/