If someone eats larger amounts of food than other people, even after they feel full, this may indicate they have binge-eating disorder.
What is binge-eating disorder?
People with binge-eating disorder or BED often eat larger amounts of food than most people and feel they have lost control of their eating.
While binge-eating disorder is similar to bulimia nervosa, it is not the same. A person with bulimia nervosa will use extreme measures to lose weight, such as:
- excessive exercise.
But people with BED don’t take these extreme measures to compensate for their overeating. Many people with BED are overweight or obese.
What causes binge-eating disorder?
Some people have no obvious reason for having binge-eating disorder. Some will have low self-esteem; others will have a family history of eating disorders. Genes probably play a part. Others will have experienced childhood abuse or trauma.
Binge-eating disorder is also linked to:
Binge-eating disorder symptoms
People with binge-eating disorder might:
- eat for comfort
- eat rapidly during a binge
- eat when they are not hungry
- eat alone because they are embarrassed
- feel guilty after an eating binge.
Find out more about binge-eating disorder symptoms on the National Eating Disorders Collaboration website.
Binge-eating disorder diagnosis
Diagnosis of a binge-eating disorder requires assessment by a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Treatment of binge-eating disorder
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Last reviewed: July 2017