Binge Eating Disorder Meaning, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Binge Eating Disorder Meaning, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Binge eating disorder is a disorder of eating behavior, by consuming excess amounts of food.


Binge eating disorder is a disorder of eating behavior, in which a person often consumes excessive amounts of food and feels unable to stop eating food. Almost everyone has basically consumed excess food once in a while. For example, taking food two to three times while on vacation. However, for some people, consuming excess food feels like it’s getting out of control. And if this happens regularly, it can be a sign of a binge eating disorder.

If someone has a binge eating disorder, that person may feel ashamed of their overeating habit and try to stop it. But then compulsive feelings can arise, where there is an irresistible urge. This eventually causes the habit of overeating to continue.

If someone experiences a binge eating disorder, proper treatment is needed to help overcome these urges.


The cause of binge eating disorder is not known with certainty. However, some things like:

  • Genetic,
  • biological Factors,
  • long-term dieting,

and psychological problems can increase the risk of experiencing this condition.

Several factors that can increase the risk of experiencing binge eating disorder are:

  • Family history

A person has a higher chance of having an eating disorder if they have parents or siblings who have or have had eating disorders. This could indicate that inherited genes can increase the risk of experiencing eating disorders.

  • Psychological problems

Most people with binge eating disorders have negative feelings about themselves and their abilities and accomplishments. Triggers for overeating can be stress, feeling in bad shape, the sight of food, or boredom.

  • Going on a diet

Many people with binge eating disorders have a history of dieting. Some of them even have a history of excessive dieting since childhood or adolescence. Following a certain diet or limiting your calorie intake throughout the day can trigger cravings for excess food. This is especially so when the person has low self-esteem and depressive symptoms.

  • Age

Although binge eating disorder can occur at any age, it generally first appears in late adolescence or early adulthood.


Most people with binge eating disorders are overweight or obese. However, a small number of others have normal weight.

Behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms commonly observed in binge eating disorder include:

  • Eating large amounts of food in a specific time period, for example within 2 hours.
  • Feeling that eating behavior is out of control.
  • Eat food even if you feel full or not hungry.
  • Eat food quickly.
  • Eat food until you feel full and uncomfortable in the stomach.
  • Often eat alone or secretly.
  • Feeling sad, annoyed, ashamed, guilty, or angry about the eating behavior.
  • Often try to diet, without losing weight.

In contrast to people with bulimia, generally after an episode of overeating, no compensation is made for the excess number of calories consumed. For example by vomiting, using laxatives, or exercising excessively.

Sometimes, the person will also try to diet or eat normal amounts of food. However, restricting food also has the possibility of more frequent episodes of overeating.
The severity of binge eating disorder is determined by how often episodes of binge eating occur in one week.


To determine the diagnosis of a binge eating disorder, the doctor may recommend an overall psychological evaluation. This evaluation includes discussing daily eating habits.

Doctors can also suggest certain tests to be carried out to evaluate the health consequences that can arise from binge eating disorders. Such as high cholesterol levels, high blood pressureheart diseasediabetes, and several other health conditions.

In addition to a detailed medical interview, tests that can be carried out include an in-person physical examination, as well as blood and urine tests.

To determine the diagnosis of binge eating disorder, several points listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5) by the American Psychiatric Association are:

  • Recurrent episodes of consuming excessive amounts of food.
  • Feeling unable to control episodes of overeating, including the amount of food consumed and the ability to stop eating.
  • Episodes of binge eating are associated with at least three of the following factors: eating quickly, eating until you are uncomfortable full, consuming large amounts of food even when you’re not hungry, eating alone because you feel embarrassed, or feeling humiliated, sad, or guilty after consuming it food.
  • Worried about overeating.
  • Overeating at least once a week for at least three months.
  • Overeating that is not followed by an act such as intentional vomiting, or other behavior to lose weight such as obsessive exercise or use of laxatives.


The goal of treating binge eating disorder is to reduce episodes of binge eating. Sometimes when needed, treatment is also carried out to lose weight.

In addition, because overeating is often associated with shame, poor self-image, and other negative emotions, treatment can also be aimed at addressing these and other psychological problems. Several types of treatment that can be done in binge eating disorder are:

  • Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy or talk therapy can help change bad behavior for the better, as well as reduce episodes of overeating.
  • Some examples of psychotherapy are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy, or dialectical behavior therapy.
  • Treatment. Doctors can prescribe certain medications to help control symptoms, depending on various factors such as the degree of severity, the presence of other complaints, and so on.
  • Behavior-based weight loss program. Many individuals with binge eating disorders have a history of failing to lose weight on their own.
  • Therefore, a behavior-based weight loss program that is carried out under the supervision of professional medical personnel can ensure that the body’s nutritional needs are met but not excessive.


Although there is no proven way to completely avoid binge eating disorder, it is advisable for someone who is experiencing symptoms of binge eating to consult a professional who can handle it.

Someone who experiences this condition needs support to lead a healthy lifestyle and needs professional treatment before his condition gets worse. In addition, someone who has children is also advised to always cultivate a healthy lifestyle and diet in children, so that they grow into healthy individuals and have ideal body weight.

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