Consuming food on a daily basis is a normal human characteristic. After all, we eat to survive. However, it is not normal when we eat in excess especially in amounts that is seen as too much.
Now, what is binge eating disorder?
Binge eating disorder, or BED, is a disease wherein a person has recurring episodes of eating in excess or an abnormally large amount of food than what a person would usually eat. The key term here is the amount of food being consumed in just one sitting. Usually those who suffer from BED are self-conscious about their eating habits and would often conceal their symptoms from others especially to the people closest to them. This results into another characteristic of binge eating: doing it in secrecy. It is also because of this that they would feel depressed and would constantly feel self-shame after each episode, thus creating this poor body image for the victim. Furthermore, these cravings are insatiable and choose no time of the day when striking.
In terms of demographic, women tend to suffer from BED more frequently than men, wherein the former is composed of 5% of the population.
It is interesting to note that it is still unknown what causes BED. However, because of how it affects people, it has been placed in the DSMV with calls for increased awareness and understanding for this disease in order to improve the quality of life of those suffering from it. Some experts link genetics to BED while some would relate it to other diseases such as depression or lifestyle.
Now, what are the symptoms associated with BED?
Symptoms that are associated with binge-eating disorder would include discreet consummation of food that is larger than most people would eat under a similar instance and in a distinct period of time, as well as lack of control during this period.
There are also other things that are associated during a binge eating period such as distress, depression, eating even if one is not hungry, self-shame and eating until one is uncomfortably full.
One is considered a binge eater if one experiences such episode consistently at least once in a week for three months.
It is also to be noted that binge eating is not always related to bulimia and/or anorexia though it can be in some cases. Furthermore, though body weight is commonly being associated by everyone to this condition (with a majority suffering from it either overweight or obese), it is important to know that it is possible that binge-eaters can also sport a normal weight.