KidsMD Health Topics

Binge Eating Disorder in Children

  • Binge-eating disorder is a newly recognized condition believed to affect millions of Americans. Most people with binge-eating disorder have frequent episodes of eating what others would consider an abnormally large amount of food, and frequent feelings of being unable to control what or how much is being eaten.

    Children and teens with binge-eating disorder may:

    • eat much more quickly than usual
    • eat until uncomfortably full
    • eat large amounts of food even when not hungry
    • eat alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being eating
    • feel disgusted, depressed and guilty after overeating

    This disorder is different from binge-purge syndrome (also known as bulimia nervosa) because people with binge-eating disorder usually don’t purge afterward by vomiting or using laxatives.

    Binge-eating disorder can have serious health consequences. Early diagnosis and treatment are extremely important.

    How Children’s Hospital Boston approaches binge-eating disorder

    The Eating Disorders Program at Children’s Hospital Boston provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment services every year to more than 200 adolescents with binge-eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and related eating disorders. Staffed by expert specialists, the program addresses your child’s medical, nutritional and psychological needs in order to effectively treat her disorder.

    Our healthcare team also gives guidance to many providers in the northeastern United States and beyond.

    • Our providers also consulted on the National Eating Disorders Screening Project. They have advocated for insurance coverage for eating disorders at the Massachusetts State House, and give frequent presentations on eating disorders throughout New England.
      Binge Eating Disorder: Reviewed by Sara F. Forman, MD

      © Children’s Hospital Boston; posted in 2011

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