Binge eating disorder: Overview

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Discover the main features and causes of binge eating disorder and who is most likely to be affected by it.

Key points

  • Binge eating disorder (BED) involves recurring episodes of eating a larger than usual amount of food in a short period of time and feeling guilty or ashamed as a result. It is not the same as overeating.
  • People who experience BED often feel out of control. However, they do not compensate for their binge episodes through purging or excessive exercise.
  • BED is usually caused by social and psychological factors and/or genetics.
  • Binge eating usually starts in late adolescence or early adulthood. Teens with depression or anxiety might be at increased risk of developing BED.
Last updated: September 12th 2023