Slideshows Images Quizzes
font size

Binge Eating Disorder

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Binge eating disorder facts

  • Binge eating disorder is a mental illness whose characteristics include recurring episodes of binge eating without the affected individual's effort to make up for the binge episodes by excessively exercising, purging, and/or inappropriately using medications like diet pills or laxatives.
  • Binge eating disorder affects about 2% of men and 3.5% of women, with most developing the affliction during their teens or early adulthood. Men make up approximately one-third of people with binge eating disorder.
  • About 65% of people with binge eating disorder are obese, and many are overweight.
  • Binge eating disorder symptoms and signs include
    • eating when not feeling hungry,
    • eating alone due to feeling shame,
    • eating more quickly than normal,
    • eating until feeling uncomfortable, and
    • feeling depressed, disgusted, or guilty after overeating.
  • There appears to be no one specific cause for binge eating disorder.
  • Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), topiramate (Topamax), serotonergic (SSRI) medications, and sibutramine (Meridia) reduce the amount and number of binge episodes.
  • Psychotherapy can be a key component of treatment of the emotional problems associated with binge eating disorder.
  • People with binge eating disorder are at greater risk of developing another psychiatric condition, including a substance-use disorder or another eating disorder. Individuals with binge eating disorder also appear to have a greater risk of developing type II diabetes, abnormal cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure, as well as a tendency to engage in self-injurious behaviors or having suicidal thoughts or actions compared to similar-weight individuals without this eating disorder.
  • Educating teenagers and adults about resisting society's pressure to be thin, understanding factors that affect body weight and the negative health aspects of eating disorders, as well as encouraging stress management, good self-esteem, healthy weight control, and acceptance of their bodies can help prevent eating disorders, including binge eating disorder.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/2/2016


Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors