Understanding Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder in the United States, with an estimated 3.5 percent of women and 2 percent of men suffering from this illness. BED is characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating, feeling out of control while binging, and feeling guilt and shame afterward — with the regular use of compensating behaviors (vomiting, laxative usage, over exercising, etc.) to offset the binge episode.

While patterns, systems and traits may vary from one person to another, common behaviors of binge eating disorder include, but are not limited to:

  • Frequent episodes of consuming very large amounts of food that are not followed by behaviors to prevent weight gain
  • Eating more rapidly than normal
  • Eating alone out of embarrassment or shame over quantity of food eaten

The emotional characteristics of BED sufferers include:

  • Using food to soothe anxiety, fear, grief, loneliness, etc.
  • Using food as a reward, escape or to avoid stress
  • Using food to distract from feelings, fearful situations or negative memories (trauma)

The health risks of binge eating disorder, most commonly associated with clinical obesity include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoarthritis, joint and muscle pain
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Binge Eating Recovery Awaits

Despite all the health issues that can result from BED, there are no risks associated with seeking eating disorder treatment. In fact, for the majority of people struggling with eating disorders like BED, full recovery is possible. At Center for Change, we use our proven evidence-based treatment methods to give you the tools necessary to take back your life.

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