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Do I Have Binge Eating Disorder Because I Stress Eat?

Posted Oct 11 2008 12:00am

Binge-eating disorder, as it is called, is considered a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food. Experts are not sure what causes binge eating disorder, but it seems to run in families. Experts think that cultural attitudes about body shape and weight also play a role. Anxiety, depression, or stress can cause some people to binge. But just because you may binge eat when stressed doesn’t mean you have binge eating disorder. From time to time, most of us feel like we have eaten more than we should. But eating too much every now and then does not mean that you have binge eating disorder. The disorder most often starts in the late teens or the young-adult years. It is more common in women than men. About 2 out of 100 females in the United States are estimated to have binge eating disorder as well as 25 out of 100 people who are obese.

How do you know if you have binge eating disorder? If you have the disorder you often have numerous behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms. These may include:

  •  Eating large amounts of food in less than 2 hours
  •  Eating even when you’re full
  •  Eating rapidly during binge episodes
  •  Feeling that your eating behavior is out of control
  •  Depression
  •  Anxiety
  •  Frequent dieting without weight loss
  •  Frequently eating alone
  •  Hoarding food
  •  Hiding empty food containers
  •  Feeling disgusted or upset about your eating

Binge eaters may eat 10,000 to 20,000 calories worth of food during a binge, while someone following a normal diet may eat 1,500 to 3,000 calories in a day. A binge episode is typically considered to last about two hours. But the duration also is under debate, and some experts say binges can last an entire day.

So what if I have binge eating disorder? Continuing healthy habits at home can improve binge eating disorder . Develop a plan for eating a balanced diet and become more physically active. Talk with your doctor or health care professional about how to stop the bingeing.

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