Diagnostic Criteria for Bulimia Nervosa (DSM-5)

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by inappropriate compensatory behaviors designed to prevent weight gain. In addition, the self-evaluation of individuals with bulimia nervosa is excessively influenced by weight and body shape. The major change in criteria for diagnosis of bulimia nervosa is reducing the binge frequency threshold from twice per week in DSM-IV to once per week in DSM-5. The other differences include the DSM-IV differentiating between purging and nonpurging type (the DSM-5 does not) and the DSM-5 specifying criteria for partial remission, full remission, and severity, while the DSM-IV does not.
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DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Bulimia Nervosa

A. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:

  1. Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time and under similar circumstances.
  2. A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g., a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).

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