Compulsive Overeating

Binge-eating disorder, or compulsive overeating, involves people engaging in short feasts wherein they consume a large amount of calories. Unlike people with bulimia, they do not purge after these episodes, and thus tend to gain weight. They often struggle with feelings of shame and depression.

Definition

People with binge-eating disorder, also known as compulsive overeating, overeat but do not purge, which usually leads them to become overweight. Binge eating is characterized by eating, in a discrete period of time, an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances. Binge eaters also feel a lack of control over eating during the episode.

Binge-eating episodes are associated with eating more rapidly than normal, eating until uncomfortably full, eating large amounts of food when not physically hungry, and feeling disgusted with oneself or depressed afterward. Binge eating usually occurs in secrecy or as inconspicuously as possible. Binge-eating disorder may be the most common eating disorder in the United States, where as many as four million adults struggle with it. It is more prevalent among females than males in the U.S., but equally afflicts females from all racial and ethnic groups. This condition is found more often among people seeking weight-loss treatment than in the general population. About 15 percent of the mildly obese, including those who try to lose weight on their own or with commercial products, have the disorder. While binge eating is associated with obesity, these are separate concepts. Most obese individuals do not engage in recurrent binge eating.

Source: Psychology today

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