This information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis. If you or someone you know may be suffering from binge eating disorder or another eating disorder, seek the advice of a medical professional.
Although most people are familiar with the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia, there is another that can be just as deadly if not treated: binge eating disorder.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association fact sheet, binge eating disorder “a type of eating disorder not otherwise specified and is characterized by recurrent binge eating without the regular use of compensatory measures to counter the binge eating.”
Symptoms of binge eating disorder include:
1. Frequent episodes of eating large quantities of food in short periods of time.
2. Feeling out of control over eating behavior.
3. Feeling ashamed or disgusted by the behavior.
There are also several behavioral indicators of BED (binge eating disorder) including eating when not hungry and eating in secret.
Medical effects of binge eating disorder do not mimic those of other, more well-known, eating disorders. In fact, the medical effects resemble those associated with clinical obesity and include:
1. High blood pressure
2. High cholesterol levels
3. Heart disease
4. Diabetes mellitus
Other facts about binge eating disorder include:
1. The prevalence of BED is estimated to be approximately 1-5% of the general
2. Binge eating disorder affects women slightly more often than men–estimates
indicate that about 60% of people struggling with binge eating disorder are female,
40% are male (Smith et al., 1998).
3. People who struggle with binge eating disorder can be of normal or heavier than
4. BED is often associated with symptoms of depression.
5. People struggling with binge eating disorder often express distress, shame, and
guilt over their eating behaviors.
Remember that even if someone is not bingeing, if they are suffering from depression, they should get help to prevent this and other diseases associated with depression.
For more information and help with binge eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association.
National Eating Disorders Association
National Eating Disorders Association Fact Sheet on Binge Eating Disorder (opens as a PDF)