What is Binge Eating Disorder?
The Emily Program takes pride in getting out and being a part of the communities where we work and live. Our outreach staff and providers do presentations for community groups, professional associations, medical professionals, college students, the list goes on and on.
Most people have some knowledge or have at least heard of anorexia and bulimia, but when we talk about binge eating disorder (BED) people pause. The conversation can turn into misconception "Oh, I must have that. I binge eat when I get stressed out during [insert occasional situation here].", after misconception, "When I watch TV I zone out and eat.", after misconception, "Every holiday I end up overeating."
The fact is, many people don't understand that binge eating disorder is just as serious, just as real, and just as deadly as anorexia and bulimia. AND it's also the most common eating disorder in the United States.
Binge eating disorder is characterized by recurring episodes of binge eating during which a person feels a loss of control over his or her eating. Unlike bulimia, binge eating episodes are not followed by purging, excessive exercise, fasting or other compensatory behaviors. Some people who compulsively overeat may be overweight; some may not. Guilt, shame and/or distress about their eating behavior is common – which in turn can lead to more binge eating. So, even though the common misconceptions and comments involve overeating from time to time, occasional binges are not likely an eating disorder.
Dr. Jillian Lampert explains more about binge eating disorder in this short video.
If you suspect that you or someone in your life may have an eating disorder, we can help. The Emily Program has been treating all eating disorders, including binge eating disorder, for over 20 years. These are serious illnesses, but with the right treatment and support people can and do recover.