In keeping with the theme of raising awareness during Mental Health month, I am sharing with you some definitions and facts regarding different mental health conditions. One area of focus in my practice is eating disorders. These are issues that often co-occur with complex PTSD and dissociative disorders. Following up on the article yesterday, Binge Eating Disorder and Childhood Trauma, here is some more in-depth information on binge eating disorder.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a type of eating disorder not otherwise specified and is
characterized by recurrent binge eating without the regular use of compensatory measures to
counter the binge eating.
Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by:
- Frequent episodes of eating large quantities of food in short periods of time.
- Feeling out of control over eating behavior.
- Feeling ashamed or disgusted by the behavior.
- There are also several behavioral indicators of BED including eating when not hungry and eating in secret.
Health Consequences of Binge Eating Disorder:
The health risks of BED are most commonly those associated with clinical obesity. Some of
the potential health consequences of binge eating disorder include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Heart disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- Gallbladder disease
About Binge Eating Disorder:
- The prevalence of BED is estimated to be approximately 1-5% of the general population.
- Binge eating disorder affects women slightly more often than men–estimates indicate that about 60% of people struggling with binge eating disorder are female, 40% are male (Smith et al., 1998).
- People who struggle with binge eating disorder can be of normal or heavier than average weight.
- BED is often associated with symptoms of depression.
- People struggling with binge eating disorder often express distress, shame, and guilt over their eating behaviors.
Smith, D.E., Marcus, M.D., Lewis, C.E., Fitzgibbon, M., Schreiner, P. (1998) Prevalence of binge eating disorder, obesity and
depression in a biracial cohort of young adults. Annuls of Behavioral Medicine, 20, 227-232.