DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA FOR BINGE EATING
Recurring 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) and eating an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances.
- 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 much more rapidly than normal
- Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
- Consuming large amounts of food when not physically hungry
- Eating alone because of feelings of embarrassment about how much one is eating
- Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty right after a binge
- The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for 3 months
- Binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging) as in bulimia nervosa.
- The binge eating does not occur exclusively during the course of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa
WARNING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF BINGE EATING DISORDER
According to the National Eating Disorder Association, warning signs and symptoms of binge eating disorder include:
- Evidence of binge eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or lots of empty wrappers and containers indicating consumption of large amounts of food
- Appears uncomfortable eating around other people
- Any new food practice or fad diet, including cutting out entire food groups (no sugar, no carbs, no dairy, vegetarianism/veganism, etc.)
- Steals, hoards, or hides food in strange places
- Creates lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge sessions
- Withdraws from friends and activities
- Frequently goes on diets
- Expresses extreme concern over body weight and body shape
- Frequently looks in the mirror for perceived flaws in appearance
- Has secret recurring episodes of binge eating (eating in a discrete period of time an amount of food that is much larger than most individuals would eat under similar circumstances)
- Feels lack of control over ability to stop eating
- Disruption in normal eating behaviors, including eating throughout the day with no planned mealtimes
- Skipping meals or taking small portions of food at regular meals
- Engaging in sporadic fasting
- Developing food rituals (e.g., eating only a particular food or food group, excessive chewing, and not allowing foods to touch)
- Eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being eaten
- Feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt after overeating
- Rapid fluctuations in weight
- Feelings of low self-esteem
The physical health risks of binge eating disorders are most commonly those associated with clinical obesity, weight stigma, and weight cycling (aka, yo-yo dieting).
The majority of people who are diagnosed as clinically obese don’t have binge eating disorder.
However, up to two-thirds of people with binge eating disorder are diagnosed as clinically obese.
The majority of people who struggle with binge eating disorder tend to be of normal or higher-than-average weight, though Binge Eating Disorder can be diagnosed at any weight.
To learn more about other types of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and emotional eating, visit their dedicated pages.
OUR THERAPY METHODS FOR BINGE EATING
Our evidence-based, scientifically proven interventions are demonstrated by research to be effective for addressing Binge Eating Disorder.
Learn more about our empirically based therapy modalities by visiting our Methods page.
WANT TO TALK? SPEAK WITH A BINGE EATING EXPERT NOW
If you have any questions, contact one of our Binge Eating Disorder specialists for a free consultation any time.