Binge eating disorder also known as BED is the most common type of eating disorder there is. It affects more individuals than both anorexia and bulimia. Men and woman suffer from it, while reportedly woman are slightly higher, people of every geographic region, income level, children and adults alike. According to nationaleatingdisorders.org BED is most common in the United State with 3.5 of women, 2% of men and 1.6% of adolescents. This is a disorder that will not discriminate and will also have you suffering in silence because of the embarrassment you feel. BED is usually tied to a trauma or experience one has had in their life that lead them to feel food is their only comfort and their only means of coping.
Binge eating is the process an individual consuming a large amount of calories in one meal. This can lead to person becoming overweight and even obese. Gaining a massive amount of weight in a short amount of time can also lead to depression and then can lead into a cycle of binge eating to cope with the depression. BED can also lead to many over health issues, such as; heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, insomnia and many other problems.
It’s important to be able to recognize the sign of BED in a loved one and even yourself. BED is more than just getting extras at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Some individuals may not realize they are suffering from this or they may be aware but are to ashamed. Don’t be offensive in your approach, this may shame the person further into hiding this disorder. Always come from a loving place when dealing with someone who’s dealing with something this personal.
A few characteristics to watch out for:
- Consuming large amounts of food in a short time
- Being secretive about eating
- Being restrictive in behavior but only in regards to food
- Feeling degusted about one’s body size
- Working hard to please others
- Body weight varies from normal to moderate to obese
Do not confuse a binge episode and overeating once or even twice. People tend to indulge on holidays or special occasions, but when you start to see a pattern is when it should be addressed.
If you do find yourself with Binge Eating Disorder and are ready for treatment the next step you should take is to seek the help that you need. Talk with a doctor about your options. Will it happen overnight, no, but you will learn coping skills and begin your journey to being a better you. BED is a mental health issue and like other health issues it needs to be addressed and treated properly. The main goal of treatment is to find relief from the disorder not to lose weight. With the help of treatment and finding a nutritionist you meet the goals you set for yourself and stay on track for a lifetime.