Binge Eating

Binge Eating

Binge eating is commonly seen among people who are struggling from conditions such as bulimia, where an inability to stop eating is subsequently followed up by a period of trying to purge the body of the food that has just been consumed (often through induced vomiting).

Binge eating disorder is becoming increasingly popular as time goes on, largely due to increased societal pressure and expectation to meet a certain image; the influence of social media and Photoshop also plays a large role in the development of these such conditions.

Incidence of Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder, as is the case with many other types of disorders nowadays, is becoming far more common in our modern society. Commonly, people who have struggled with eating disorders in the past and have subsequently recovered may go on to develop a binge eating disorder. Alternatively, it can also develop as a new condition for people who are struggling with conditions such as bulimia—an eating disorder characterized by eating too much and then feeling the need to rid the body of the food that has just been eaten.

Binge eating disorder most commonly starts in older young people, such as people in their early 20s. It is estimated that somewhere in the region of 2.8 million people have binge eating disorder.

The condition was first recognized as an actual disorder in 2013. Most often, it is seen in young women; however, men can also get the condition; often, young men will be likely to go undiagnosed compared to young women.

Binge eating disorder, as explained by, is widely regarded to be the most common of all of the eating disorders in the United States. Indeed, it is estimated that there are three times as many people struggling to cope with a binge eating disorder at any one time than anorexia and bulimia combined; it is also more common than many other serious mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia.

The condition generally seems to start among people that are already overweight or obese; however, people who are the ideal weight or underweight also develop the condition in some cases as well.

Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder

A person suffering from binge eating disorder will consume large amounts of food on a regular basis; often, more than the individual is actually comfortable with eating. Following on from this, the individual will likely then feel guilty for consuming the amount of food that they have and will subsequently go on to purge their body of the food by inducing vomiting to clear the stomach.

People who struggle with binge eating often find themselves suffering from other related mental health conditions as well. These conditions may often include depression or self-harming, just to mention a few.

Binge eating is largely characterized by eating a large amount of food—often more than an individual is comfortable within a very short period of time. People with the disorder will usually become uncomfortably full after a binge eating session and will also experience feelings of shame and/or guilt in the aftermath of a binge.

Diagnostic Statistical Manual 5 Criteria for Binge Eating Disorder

Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterised by both of the following:

      • Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g. within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time and 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).

The 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

Binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for three months

Binge eating not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behaviours as in Bulimia Nervosa and does not occur exclusively during the course of Bulimia Nervosa, or Anorexia Nervosa methods to compensate for overeating, such as self-induced vomiting.