This study compared the mental and physical health related quality of life (HRQL) of 40 obese persons with BED with 20 age, gender and body mass index (BMI) matched obese persons without BED and 40 age and gender matched non-obese volunteers. Variables contributing to the variability in HRQL were identified. Participants were asked to fill in the MOS 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), the Symptoms Checklist-90 (SCL-90), the Baecke questionnaire, the bulimia subscale of the Eating Disorder Inventory and the Body Attitude Test. All participants also performed a 6-minute walk test (6MWT). BED patients showed a significant impaired physical and mental HRQL compared with obese and non-obese control groups. In the BED-group female participants showed a significantly more impaired mental HRQL than male participants (40.0±21.2 versus 66.6±10.1). The distance achieved on the 6MWT (512.1±75.8 m) explained 22.5% of the variability in physical HRQL in the obese BED-group while gender and the SCL-90 depression score (39.1±12.2) explained 47.1% of the variability in mental HRQL. The present findings suggest that the treatment of obese individuals with BED might benefit by giving more attention to HRQL, depressive symptoms and physical fitness.