Binge Eating Disorder
What is Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is characterized by the following:
- Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
- Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances.
- A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g., a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what one is eating).
- The binge-eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
- Eating much more rapidly than normal.
- Eating until feeling uncomfortably full.
- Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry.
- Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating.
- Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterward.
- Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.
- The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for 3 months.
- The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behaviour as in bulimia nervosa and does not occur exclusively during the course of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.
Note: Binge eating disorder is less common but much more severe than overeating. Binge eating disorder is associated with more subjective distress regarding the eating behaviour, and commonly other co-occurring psychological problems.
How is Binge Eating Disorder Treated?
Binge eating disorder responds well to 16 – 20 sessions of CBT-E as well as to 24 weeks of DBT skills training. Support from a registered dietitian is also an important adjunct to treatment.