Eating Disorders | Binge Eating Disorder

What is a binge eating disorder (BED)?

Binge eating disorder affects millions of Americans. The condition is marked by frequent episodes of eating an abnormally large amount of food in a short amount of time while experiencing a loss of control.

Children and teens with binge eating disorder may:

  • eat large amounts of food even when they don’t feel hungry
  • eat alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food they are eating
  • feel disgusted, depressed, and guilty after overeating

Binge eating disorder often goes hand in hand with anxiety or depression.

This disorder is different from bulimia nervosa (also known as binge-purge syndrome) 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 therefore extremely important.

What are signs of a binge eating disorder?

If your child has a binge eating disorder, signs and symptoms may include:

  • recurring episodes of binge eating
  • feeling helpless to stop eating
  • eating a lot even when not hungry
  • dissatisfaction with themselves and their body appearance
  • preoccupation with food, weight, and body shape
  • weight fluctuations
  • food disappearing from the kitchen, hidden food wrappers

Binge-eating complications

Complications of a binge eating disorder may include: