3% of Americans Are Binge Eating
Survey Shows Uncontrollable Binge Eating Is the Most Common Eating Disorder
What Are the Treatments?
"There are basically three forms of treatment," Hudson said.
"One is psychological treatment, especially cognitive and behavioral
techniques. This has been effective for binge eating, less so for losing
weight," he said.
"The second is medications, especially topiramate [Topamax] and
sibutramine [Meridia]," Hudson noted.
"And finally, for individuals with severe obesity, there are surgical
procedures, but those are reserved for more severe cases," he said.
Surprise Anorexia Finding
In addition to yielding the first hard data on the extent of binge eating
disorder, the survey turned up another surprising finding: Many people with
anorexia have a mild version of the disorder.
"This study shows anorexia is not invariably chronic and severe --
although it often is, and I don't want to suggest it cannot be a devastating
condition," Hudson said. "But for every anorexia case that comes into
the hospital, our data suggests that there are other cases that get better
Hudson said the finding suggests treatment could be improved by finding out
which factors are linked to quickly getting over anorexia, and which factors
are linked to more severe, chronic anorexia.