Fact File: Understanding Binge Eating Disorder

The condition known as Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of consuming large quantities food in a relatively short span, typically reaching a point of discomfort. It is a serious term associated with mental health, often leading to the individuals feeling they’ve lost command over their own actions.

Binge Eating Disorder is indiscriminate of gender or age, although it is predominantly observed to manifest during one’s 20s.

Conducive factors for Binge Eating Disorder:
The concrete cause remains unknown but certain risk aspects can contribute to predisposition…

  • History of eating disorders, depression, or substance abuse.
  • Excessive stress on maintaining slimness, specifically under societal or occupational (dancer, athlete, model) pressure.
  • Emotional tensions such as anxiety and low self-esteem.
  • Obsessive behavior or a perfectionist demeanor.
  • Experiencing stress or trauma.

Indicators and Attributes:

  • Large food consumption without respect to satiety.
  • Instigating eating even when not hungry.
  • Fast eating habits.
  • Preference for eating alone or discreetly.
  • Episodes of guilt, depression, disgust, or shame post binge eating.
  • Attempts to conceal the amount of food consumed.
  • Possibility of stocking up on food.
  • Potential weight gain.

Binge Eating Disorder may see individuals indulging in planned or spur of the moment binges, or a combination of both. These sessions often happen when the subject is alone.


Individuals diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder have a high recovery rate when they undergo treatment. Therapeutic approaches, primarily Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, is heavily relied upon for this condition. It aids in restructuring the brain and building a healthier perception of food.

Certain therapeutic methods may be on a one-on-one basis, while others can involve group sessions or family engagements.
Group therapies can be beneficial, offering insight into the struggles of fellow-sufferers, observing their progress, and finding solace and support in their company.
Family-centered therapy can be effective in sensitizing family members to the condition and guide them in becoming supportive pillars at home.

Internet-based forums and support groups offer additional resources.

Helpful Links:

NHS post on Binge Eating Disorder

BEAT guide to overcoming Binge Eating Disorders

Mayo Clinic’s material on Binge Eating Disorder

Information updated December 2023.

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