Overview and Symptoms
Binge eating disorder is one of the lesser known eating disorders, however, it’s just as harmful and life threatening as any other. Binge eating disorder, also known as BED, involves an individual eating an unnecessarily large quantity of food very quickly, regularly, and to the point of pain or discomfort. Despite popular belief, overweight or obese individuals usually are not inflicted with BED. In fact, many patients who have been diagnosed with binge eating disorder are of normal weight. Binge eating is regarded as a mental illness, a combination of emotional, psychosocial, biological, and environmental factors. This is to be differentiated from food addiction which is the inability to stop eating certain foods and a loss of control over the ability to stop eating, which can be addressed by institutions or professionals providing help with addiction.
People commonly misperceive that individuals with eating disorders are “vain” or that eating disorders are all about wanting to look thin like models in the magazines. However, the reality is that eating disorders are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. — Jennifer Rollin MSW, LCSW-C