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Eating Disorders Blog

The Facts About Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is characterized by periods of excessive food consumption. This makes the disorder similar to bulimia, but individuals suffering from bulimia consume massive quantities of food within relatively short periods of time and then utilize one or more drastic strategies to purge the excess calories from their bodies.

These purging strategies may include the use of laxatives, excessive exercise and self-induced vomiting. Individuals suffering from binge eating disorder, however, do not purge. One of the most noticeable effects of the disorder, therefore, is usually massive weight gain.

Research has linked binge eating disorder with a variety of serious health problems, including hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Individuals who become obese from excessive food consumption also experience myriad other health issues related to obesity, including musculoskeletal problems, high cholesterol and respiratory strain.

Individuals suffering from binge eating disorder eat compulsively, meaning they will consume large quantities of food whether they are hungry or not. They often feel that they have no control over their eating behaviors. A binge eater may consume between 10,000 and 20,000 calories during a single binge incident, while the average person consumes about 1,500 to 3,000 calories per day.

Recent research suggests several risk factors for binge eating disorder, including age (a higher percentage of people in their 40s and 50s have the disorder), the past or current existence of other eating disorders, mental health issues (in particular anxiety and depression), a history of sexual abuse, social pressures, genetics and high-stress jobs.

Although binge eating disorder is not currently recognized as a distinct clinical disorder, some experts believe it to be the most common form of disordered eating. As obesity in the United States hits an all-time high, eating disorder treatment providers are working to develop treatment strategies specifically for individuals struggling with binge eating disorder.


Labels: binge-eating, treatment, bulimia

Posted By: Aspen Education Group