Binge-eating disorder is characterized by recurring episodes of binge eating. It is important to note that overeating and binge-eating are not the same. Overeating can be described as consuming more food than your body needs at a given time. When a person overeats, it may be simply because the food is available and is very appetizing. An example of overeating may be eating a second serving of dessert after a full meal. Most people overeat on occasion. Binge-eating is much less common and is marked by psychological distress.
- A binge-eating episode is characterized by:
a) The consumption of an unusually large amount of food during a relatively short period of time.
b) Feeling out of control over what and how much is eaten and when to stop
- A binge-eating episode also includes three or more of the following:
a) Eating very quickly
b) Eating regardless of hunger cues, even if one is already full
c) Eating until uncomfortably or painfully full
d) Eating alone due to embarrassment about the type and quantity of food ingested
e) Feelings of self-disgust, guilt, and depression
- The binge-eating episodes are not followed by compensating behaviours, such as in bulimia (excessive exercise, self-induced vomiting, or the misuse of laxatives or diuretics).
- Binge-eating is seen as a disorder when the bingeing episodes occur at least once a week for three months or more,
All information taken from the National Eating Disorder Information Centre website © 2014