Eating disorders are frequently linked to the act of trying to consume as little food as possible, whether this is done through starvation or eating and then using methods to flush out the food.
Although anorexia and bulimia have been well-documented over recent years and there is now plenty of help and support available, there is another side to eating disorders that sadly, people don’t take seriously.
Unbeknown to many, binge eating is a recognised eating disorder and it occurs when a person feels compelled to over-eat on a regular basis. It is frequently followed by feelings of guilt or disgust. People suffering from this illness will consume very large quantities of food over a short period of time and will often carry on eating even when they’re not hungry. Binges are often planned and can even involve the act of buying ‘special’ binge foods.
Such episodes often alternate with periods of severe under-eating which can make the problem even worse. What makes binge eating so difficult to identify is that it will almost always take place in private.
As there is so little information and discussion about this disorder, very few people understand it and many assume that it’s the result of someone who simply can’t control how much they eat. Binge eating is often the result of underlying psychological issues however. These can include anything from low self-esteem and a lack of confidence to depression and anxiety.
What makes the fact that binge eating gets such little press even more shocking is the fact that it affects more people than both anorexia and bulimia combined. It is known that one in two people who seek help for weight problems eat compulsively which means that a shocking 12 million people in the UK struggle with compulsive overeating.
If you would like more information about binge eating and the treatment available, please don’t hesitate to visit our Binge Eating/Overeating Treatment Programme page or feel free to contact us directly. You can also learn more about eating disorder by visiting our Life Works Knowledge Centre.