Binge Eating Disorder

What is binge eating disorder
Symptoms of binge eating disorder
A note about weight and binge eating disorder
Signs of binge eating disorder
Health consequences of binge eating disorder
Facts about binge eating disorder

What is binge eating disorder?

Binge eating disorder (BED) is a type of eating disorder characterized by recurrent bingeing without the regular use of compensatory measures to counter the binge eating. It is almost always associated with cycles of dieting or restrictive eating.

Symptoms of binge eating disorder

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating. Binge eating is characterized by:
    • Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances.
    • 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).
  • Binge eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
    • Eating much more rapidly than normal.
    • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full.
    • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry.
    • Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating.
    • Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterward.
  • Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.
  • Not regularly using compensatory behaviors (such as purging) to prevent weight gain.

A note about weight and bingeing

People who struggle with binge eating can be any weight. And just because someone is in larger body doesn’t necessarily mean they binge eat.

Signs of binge eating disorder can include:

  • Evidence of binge eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food or lots of empty wrappers and containers
  • Restricting eating between bingeing episodes
  • Frquent dieting, including cutting out entire food groups (no sugar, no carbs, no dairy, vegetarianism/veganism)
  • Anxiety about eating in public or with others
  • Steals or hoards food in strange places  
  • Creates lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge sessions  
  • Shows extreme concern with body weight and shape  
  • Frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws in appearance
  • Disruption in normal eating behaviors, including eating throughout the day with no planned mealtimes; skipping meals or taking small portions of food at regular meals; engaging in sporadic fasting or repetitive dieting
  • Eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being eaten
  • Feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt after bingeing
  • Fluctuations in weight due to yo-yo dieting
  • Feelings of low self-esteem

Health consequences of binge eating disorder

  • Mental health struggles (low self-esteem, anxiety, shame, depression)
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Heart disease
  • Insulin resistance and diabetes complications

Facts about binge eating disorder

  • Binge eating disorder is the most common type of eating disorder in the U.S. and affects three times the number of people diagnosed with anorexia and bulimia combined.
  • 40% of BED sufferers are men.
  • Binge eating disorder is more common than breast cancer, HIV, and schizophrenia.
  • A 2013 study indicated that 25% of participants with binge eating disorder could directly link their binge eating patterns to PTSD

Please reach out for help and support.

If you think you are or someone you care about is struggling with binge eating, contact us here or click below to schedule an appointment online.