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What is binge eating disorder?

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Binge eating is when you eat a lot of food, much more than you need, at once. You have a disorder if you binge eat least once a week for at least three months, and can’t stop. You may "zone out" while eating. Afterward, you feel shame, guilt, or other sad feelings.

People with this disorder often keep eating even though their stomach hurts. They usually do this in private. Unlike other eating disorders, such as bulimia, a person who binge eats doesn't also purge (throw up) or over-exercise. This can lead to obesity and related risks, like diabetes or heart disease.

Being obsessed with food this way can also add stress, spoil friendships, and exhaust mental energy.

SOURCES:

Academy for Eating Disorders: "Binge Eating Disorder."

Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Related Disorders: "Binge Eating Disorder."

Binge Eating Disorders Association: "Causes and Risk Factors;" "The Recovery Process;" "Treatment Options and Providers;" and "Uses of Food."

Kidshealth.org: "Binge Eating Disorder" and "Eating Disorders."

National Eating Disorders Association: "Binge eating disorder;" "Parent Toolkit;" and "What Should I Say?"

National Institute of Mental Health: "Binge Eating Disorders" and "What Are Eating Disorders?"

Women'sHealth.gov: "Binge Eating Disorders Fact Sheet."

McElroy, S.L. , May 2012. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management

Brownley, K.A. , March 2013. Journal of Psychosomatic Research

Obesity Society: "FDA Approves New Drug for Binge Eating Disorder," February 2, 2015.

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on April 11, 2018

SOURCES:

Academy for Eating Disorders: "Binge Eating Disorder."

Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Related Disorders: "Binge Eating Disorder."

Binge Eating Disorders Association: "Causes and Risk Factors;" "The Recovery Process;" "Treatment Options and Providers;" and "Uses of Food."

Kidshealth.org: "Binge Eating Disorder" and "Eating Disorders."

National Eating Disorders Association: "Binge eating disorder;" "Parent Toolkit;" and "What Should I Say?"

National Institute of Mental Health: "Binge Eating Disorders" and "What Are Eating Disorders?"

Women'sHealth.gov: "Binge Eating Disorders Fact Sheet."

McElroy, S.L. , May 2012. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management

Brownley, K.A. , March 2013. Journal of Psychosomatic Research

Obesity Society: "FDA Approves New Drug for Binge Eating Disorder," February 2, 2015.

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on April 11, 2018

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How is binge eating disorder in kids and teens treated?

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