Binge Eating Disorder is an eating disorder characterised by sufferers feeling compelled to eat large amounts of food on a frequent basis. They often plan binges, buying food especially, and do it in secret. Binge eating refers to the fact that sufferers eat such a vast quantity in a small amount of time, often not registering the taste of the foods. They also become unaware of when they feel full, opting to carry on eating instead.
As well as the frequent binge eating, another symptom of Binge Eating Disorder is sufferers feeling very distressed or upset after a binge episode. They feel that they have no self control, which is often combined with disgust and guilt about overeating. Unlike Bulimia, those suffering from Binge Eating Disorder do not attempt to compensate for over eating e.g. they do not purge or over-exercise. Sufferers may severely cut down what they are eating between binges, however, which can make the binge eating worse.
Binge Eating Disorder is closely related to, and can often reflect, underlying psychological problems such as lack of confidence, anxiety and depression. It can also lead to obesity issues like heart disease, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Unlike with Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder affects an equal amount of men and women.