Background: Binge eating (BE) is considered a marker of obesity and overweight and a significant characteristic of feeding and eating disorders. Despite the high prevalence of obesity on college campuses, the issue of BE among college students in Taiwan has received little attention. The aim of this study was to investigate BE behavior among overweight college students in Taiwan and associated factors. Methods: This study utilized a cross-sectional survey. A total of 300 overweight college students were recruited through convenience sampling. Data were collected using a self-administered Binge Eating Scale (BES) and a body weight composition monitor (Model No. OMRON, HBF-126) and analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, and regression analysis. Results: The average BES score was 10.67 (SD = 6.66, 0–34). With a BES score of 17 as the cut-off point, 17.3% (n = 52) of the participants were found to have moderate or severe BE behavior. Analysis of the demographic and psychosocial data using Spearman’s rho rank correlation coefficient revealed that sex, body mass index (BMI), uncontrolled eating, weight loss diets, academic stress, peer competition, interpersonal distress, and unpleasant or major life events were significantly correlated with BE behavior and its probability (rs = −0.14–0.15, p < 0.05). Furthermore, logistic regression analysis indicated that the odds ratio of the BES scores of female participants and those who stated to have experienced uncontrolled eating, weight loss diets, peer competition, and interpersonal distress was 1.05–6.04 times those of male participants and those without such experiences (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The study found that nearly one-fifth of participants presented moderate to severe levels of BE behaviors, and these were significantly correlated with sex and external environmental stress. This study suggests early intervention from campus psychological health personnel to provide proper therapy.
- binge eating
- college students