Diet and Nutrition

Binge Eating Disorder: Get the Facts

Binge Eating Disorder: Get the Facts

Individuals suffering from binge eating disorder (B.E.D) often eat excessively. They are not able to control the intake of food when the binges kick in. 

People with this disorder are distinct from bulimia and anorexia victims in that the former don’t vomit, eat little quantities of particular foods and they need a lot of exercise.  Therefore, most binge eaters have obesity and overweight problems.

A person having binge eating disorder may also have other unique behaviors such as:

  • Abnormally fast eating during binges
  • Overeating
  • Eating unnecessarily
  • Isolating themselves while eating
  • Disgusting or guilt feeling after excessive eating

B.E.D. is considered a Diagnosable Disorder

You don’t need to worry much if you have B.E.D. since there are many hospitals that have wealth of experience in treating patients with B.E.D and other eating disorders.
Contact their team of professionals for further inquiries about eating abnormalities and the available treatment alternatives.

In case you are in doubt whether you have B.E.D, the following tips will help you in determining if you require seeing a health expert.

Causes of B.E.D

Researchers are yet to identify what exactly leads to binge eating disorders and other related conditions as well as how they occur. Mostly, eating disorders comprise of unusual function in various brain parts.

Studies suggest that the following may cause B.E.D:

  • Being depressed or having a personal history of depression.
  • Failing to take some meals, eating insufficient food or avoiding particular food types.
  • Difficulty in handling emotions such as anger, sadness, boredom, worry or stress.
  • Nature of a person. Researchers are studying the relationship between chemicals produced by the brain, body metabolism, and B.E.D. Researchers think binge eating is influenced by genes because it affects multiple members of a particular family. B.E.D can be studied by the use of brain images.

Individuals suffering from binge eating disorder behave in a particular way and share similar emotional issues. Most of them drink excessive alcohol, have impulse behavior, lack self-control, and like isolating themselves from their societies. 

Effects of binge eating disorder on health

The majority of persons suffering from binge eating disorder become depressed as a result of feeling bad about their condition. Researches suggest that B.E.D victims are more vulnerable to health issues, stress, sleeping problems and thoughts about committing suicide than people who don’t have the condition. Due to their low self-esteem, people with the condition may prefer eating to attending work, school or other interactive activities.

Individuals suffering from binge eating disorder have higher chances of having health issues such as:

People with obesity and B.E.D mostly have issues on their mental health such as anxiety, depression and personality abnormalities.

Facts about BED

1. Binge Eating Disorder is an abnormality that is related to eating. Although normally BED patients may appear different from usual anorexia or bulimia patients, DEB comprises of demons and patterns which are the same as those in the clearer abnormalities.

2. Overweight isn’t always caused by overeating or binging. Similarly, not all people who don’t binge or overeat are underweight or have the normal weight.

4. Just like other eating abnormalities, individuals who binge or eat excessively eat limited food during the day thus having high chances of overeating at night.

5. The majority of people who have binge eating disorder are often ashamed of eating in the presence of other people. Just like those suffering from Anorexia, they feel as if everybody is seeing the amount of food that they are eating.

6. Similarly to anorexia and bulimia, you don’t need more self-control for you to overcome BED. For a person to recover, a detailed study on the importance of or lack of food to one’s emotional well-being is vital. Just like people who are suffering from Anorexia and Bulimia, binge eaters don't have control of their eating habits.

8. If one is suffering from BED or eats excessively doesn’t mean he/she is lazy. Similarly to anorexics, people who binge or overeat mostly want things done to perfection and thus they may work tirelessly. Working hard helps in managing BED and other eating disorders.

9. People who binge or overeat are mostly very shameful because of their eating habits and their bodies. They usually suffer from inferiority complex and feel destroyed. Apart from negative attitude from the society, people with binge eating disorder also hate themselves.

People with bulimia and those with BED share many similar characteristics. Both groups of people eat excessively, consequently feeling anxious, guilty, shame and lack self-control. However, the two categories differ in the sense that after overeating, bulimia victims try to lose the extra energy by exercising excessively, vomiting as well as using laxative drugs or water pills.

It is normal for people to overeat occasionally, especially during the holidays. However, people with binge eating disorder have a strong and regular drive that makes them overeat, and after that, they become anxious because of the overeating. Individuals suffering from the disorder overeat at least once in every week for not less than three months. 

According to DSM, a handbook which helps in determining abnormalities related to mental health, BED is a mental condition.

Can a person with BED be treated?

Yes, a person suffering from binge eating disorder can be treated. Individuals suffering from binge eating disorder must seek assistance from a health expert like a psychiatrist, psychologist, as well as a clinical officer.

Just like bulimia, binge eating disorder can be treated using the following ways:

  • Advice on a diet as well as psychotherapy, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • Drug therapy, for instance, antidepressant drugs such as fluoxetine or doctor-prescribed drugs for reducing appetite. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy deals with the role of people’s thoughts on how they feel and their activities. A person suffering from BED may apply for a personal session with a therapist or can join a group of people with the condition for a cognitive behavioral therapy. 


Individuals suffering from eating disorders don’t speak out about their conditions. Therefore, it becomes hard for researchers to come up with an exact number of the victims of these conditions. 

According to a survey that was conducted online, just three out of a hundred of the US adults who qualified to have eating disorders went for a binge eating disorder check up.  This is an indication that majority of people with BED are not being treated.

Women are more vulnerable to BED than men. Nevertheless, it is the most prominent eating disorder in men.

Predisposing Factors

The cause of BED is not clear to researchers. However, an obesity study suggests that levels of dopamine in the brain might be a cause.

Dopamine possibly influences the amount of food that a person eats by:

  • Tampering with one’s control over the urge to eat food
  • Making one crave for specific foods
  • Making one enjoy more eating particular foods

Weight doesn’t play any role in the development of BED so it can affect people from any weight group, those with the right weight, overweight or obese.