Binge eating disorder is an illness that resembles bulimia. Like bulimia, the disorder is characterized by episodes of uncontrolled eating or bingeing. Binge eating disorder, however, differs from bulimia because people with this disorder do not purge the excess food after eating.
Individuals with a binge eating disorder feel that they lose control of themselves when eating. They eat large quantities of food and do not stop until they are uncomfortably full.
Usually, they have more difficulty losing weight and keeping it off than other people with serious weight problems. Most people with the disorder are overweight or obese and/or have a history of weight fluctuations, either in their own life or their family’s past.
- About 2 percent of the general population engage in binge eating
- More often in women than men
- Recent research shows that binge eating disorder occurs in about 30 percent of people participating in medically supervised weight control programs.
If these symptoms describe you, do not hesitate to contact your physician or a counselor. If you think you have friends or people close to you who might have an eating disorder, please encourage them to seek help – you may save a life!
Written By: Katherine Chang
Reviewed By: Nancy Brown, Ph.D.
Last Reviewed: October 2013
Below are links PAMF accessed when researching this topic. PAMF does not sponsor or endorse any of these sites, nor does PAMF guarantee the accuracy of the information contained on them.
Food & Nutrition Information Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
National Institute of Mental Health.