Binge Eating

Binge Eating Disorder can be defined as recurring episodes of eating significantly more food in a short period of time than most people would eat under most circumstances.  These episodes are usually marked by feelings of lack of control.  Someone with binge eating disorder may eat too quickly, even if he or she is not hungry.   The person may have feelings of guilt, embarrassment or disgust and may binge eat alone to hide the behaviour.  It is associated with marked distress and occurs at least once a week over a period of 3 months.


Evaluate your eating behaviour:

  • You periodically lose control over the consumption of food

  • You eat an unusually large amount of food at one time

  • You eat quicker than normal

  • You are not hungry

  • You normally eat alone and in secret, because you are embarrassed

  • You eat carbohydrates high in fat and sugar

  • You feel disgusted, depressed and or guilty after binging

There is a difference between binge eating and the common phenomenon of overeating. While overeating is a challenge for many South Africans, recurrent binge eating is much less common, far more severe, and is associated with significant physical and psychological problems and can lead to Binge Eating Disorder.

The diagnosis consists of two elements:

  • One objective: amount of food consumed
  • Second subjective: loss of control
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