1. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, there was a positive association between general perfectionism and binge eating.
2. There was also an association between Perfectionistic Concerns and binge eating, but not Perfectionistic Strivings.
Evidence Rating Level: 1 (Excellent)
Perfectionism has long been considered a risk factor for developing eating disorders. However, there has been a lack of evidence regarding the association between perfectionism and binge eating disorders. Furthermore, many studies have failed to consider different forms of perfectionism related to binge eating, such as Perfectionistic Concerns and Perfectionistic Strivings. As a result, the objective of the present study aimed to better understand the association between perfectionism and binge eating disorders.
Of 594 identified records, 30 (n=9392) studies were included from various databases from inception to September 2022. Studies were included if they evaluated the relationship between perfectionism and binge eating using validated tools and reported a correlation coefficient for the relationship between the variables. Studies were excluded if they did not assess perfectionism and binge eating or if there was insufficient data. Statistical analysis was performed using random-effects meta-analysis. The primary outcome was the relationship between perfectionism and binge eating.
The results demonstrated an association between general perfectionism and binge eating. In addition, Perfectionistic Concerns, including self-criticism and fears about making mistakes, showed a small-to-moderate association with binge eating. Conversely, Perfectionistic Strivings, defined as the desire to reach perfection, had no significant relationship with binge eating. Despite these results, the study was limited by the fact that most of the research focused on trait perfectionism, which limited the analysis of other forms of perfectionism on binge eating. Nonetheless, the present study added evidence to suggest a link between perfectionism and binge eating.
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