What is binge eating disorder?

3What is Binge Eating?
As the name suggests binge eating is nothing but an uncontrolled behavior of over eating or as it is clinically called a “Compulsive Eating Disorder”. Most of the time binge eating is associated with bulimia (where you end up throwing all the food out through vomit after over eating), but in binge eating one doesn’t throw up, instead one only ends up eating lot more than the desired or required quantity.

Reasons for this behavior
The most common reason for this behavior is typically being overweight or obese or having a family history for being overweight. There are also some individuals with a past history of bulimia, who binge eat. The other reasons are psychological problems, strict diet programs and very commonly age. People in their late teens or early twenties have shown high binge eating reactions.

The symptoms for this problem are:

  • Eating food even after a huge meal
  • Eating unusually large quanties at one time
  • Frequently eating alone
  • Feeling depressed and therefore eating
  • Keeps eating till one feels uncomfortable or uneasy
  • Following the YO – YO diet programs

Reversal of binge eating disorder
Most of the time binge eating is uncontrolled and involuntary. An individual with this disorder finds it difficult to practice self control. That’s the time when family and friends play a major role. Seeing a counselor, nutritionist or a doctor helps to reverse this disorder. Talking and discussing the problem has shown a positive outcome toward the reversal of binge eating. If this problem is not tackled at the right time, many complications, like the ones listed below could arise:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal Tendencies
  • Obesity
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Joint Pains
  • Muscle Pain
  • Cardiac Problems

Thus, binge eating is not a very difficult health problem to solve. Patience, love and affection from near and dear ones help in achieving a positive outcome. The chances of going back to this problem are high, therefore constant monitoring of the individual’s food, weight and the clinical symptoms plays an important role. Keeping the individual busy with day to day activities or hobbies of their choice also helps. Distraction and keeping the mind busy is the only way to achieve a peaceful state of mind and control binge eating.


Ms. Malavika Athavale
Consulting Nutritionist
Eatrite – The Nutrition Clinic

Malavika Athavale has a PG Diploma in Dietetics from SNDT University (Mumbai) and industry experience in clinical and pediatric nutrition. She founded Eatrite – The Nutrition Clinic where she provides her consultancy services in individual diet counseling and corporate well-being initiatives.

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