The authors present data on 275 patients who met DSM-III criteria for
bulimia. The mean age of the patients was 24.8 years, and the average
duration of illness was approximately 7 years. These patients reported a
variety of abnormal eating-related behaviors: binge eating (100%),
self-induced vomiting (88.1%), laxative abuse (60.6%), diuretic abuse
(33.1%), and chewing and spitting out food (64.5%). Over one-third reported
a history of problems with alcohol or other drugs and most indicated
substantial social impairment.