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Binge Eating Symptoms

Common symptoms of binge eating include eating more rapidly than normal, eating until uncomfortably full, and eating large amounts of food even when not physically hungry. Symptoms of this condition are not quite the same as symptoms of other eating disorders, so they may be easy to miss. Fasting, purging, and excessive exercise are not signs of binge eating.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Binge Eating?

Community surveys have estimated that between 2 percent and 5 percent of Americans have binge eating symptoms.
People with binge eating disorder experience frequent episodes of out-of-control eating, with the same binge eating symptoms as those with bulimia. The main difference is that individuals with binge eating disorder do not purge their bodies of excess calories. Therefore, many with the disorder are overweight for their age and height. Feelings of self-disgust and shame associated with this illness can lead to more binges, creating a cycle of binge eating.

Specific Symptoms

Symptoms of binge eating disorder include:
  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by eating an excessive amount of food within a discrete period of time
  • Feelings of having no control over eating during the episodes.
Other symptoms can include the following:
  • Eating much more rapidly than normal
  • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
  • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
  • Eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating
  • Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or guilty after overeating
  • Feeling marked distress about the binge eating behavior.
Symptoms of this condition are not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (for example, purging, fasting, or excessive exercise).
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Binge Eating Information

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