Binge Eating Disorder
Binge-eating occurs in normal weight, overweight and obese individuals. It is reliably associated with overweight and obesity in treatment-seeking individuals. Nevertheless, binge-eating disorder is distinct from obesity. Most obese individuals do not engage in recurrent binge eating.
Twelve-month prevalence of binge-eating disorder among U.S. adult females and males is 1.6% and 0.8%, respectively. The gender ratio is far less skewed than in anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Binge-eating disorder is as prevalent among females from racial or ethnic minorities as has been reported for white females. The disorder is more prevalent among individuals seeking weight-loss treatment than in the general population.
Risk and Prognostic Factors for Binge Eating Disorder
- Genetic and physiological
Binge eating disorder appears to run in families, which may reflect additive genetic influences
- Recurrent episodes of binge eating at least once a month for 3 months. 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 individuals 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 or how much one is eating)
- The binge-eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
- Eating more rapidly than normal.
- Eating until feeling uncomfortably full.
- Eating large amount of food when not 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.