Binge eating disorder (BED) is a disorder of regular binge eating, which is defined as eating an unusually large amount of food while also experiencing a feeling of loss of control while eating. BED is experienced by people of all genders, races/ethnicities, and ages. It is believed that an equal number of men and women suffer from BED.
People with BED tend to be overweight or obese. While binge eating, people with BED often report experiencing several of the following: eating quicker than usual, eating when not physically hungry, eating in secret because they are feeling embarrassed about how much they are eating, or feeling intense shame, guilt, self-disgust or distress due to the binge eating.
People with BED do not typically use behaviors (like self-induced vomiting or over-exercising) to compensate for their binges. Instead, they are more likely to diet or otherwise try to restrict their food intake when not binge eating.
The research on BED points clearly to the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as the first-line treatment. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills can also be a helpful adjunct to treatment.