Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is marked by recurrent episodes of uncontrolled consumption of large amounts of food—binge eating. In contrast to bulimia nervosa, there is no inappropriate compensatory behavior (such as self-induced vomiting). In a culture preoccupied with body image, the near-inevitable weight gain associated with binge eating triggers a great deal of anxiety that in turn can set off a cycle of dieting and overeating. Binge eating disorder affects between approximately one and four percent of the population, and is frequently associated with obesity.

Binge eating is associated with an array of behaviors, including:

  • eating very rapidly
  • eating large amounts of food when not hungry
  • eating beyond comfort
  • eating alone due to shame and embarrassment

Binge eating can lead to obesity and severe medical complications such as heart problems and diabetes. Binge eating disorder can also be associated with psychological problems such as depression.

There are a variety of effective treatments for binge eating disorder, including cognitive-behavioral therapy. These interventions help reduce or eliminate binge eating, but often additional techniques, such as those found in the LEARN® Program, are necessary to produce desired weight loss.

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