Binge eating disorder (BED) is one of the most common eating disorders and one that has taken the longest to be formally represented amongst the community. In fact, it wasn’t listed in the DSM-5 until 2013, despite millions of people who suffer from BED.
Binge eating disorder is defined as consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time, while feeling a loss of control over eating. Here are 5 facts you may not know.
1. Often triggered by negative moods or stress
Binge eating disorder is often triggered by negative moods or stress. When feeling stressed, people with this disorder often turn to food to alleviate stress, which can keep the cycle active. Relationship conflicts, school, work, and finances are just a few of the triggers for BED. Women often experience these triggers more than men. Negative emotions and boredom also play a role in this disorder.
2. Women tend to binge alone, secretly
Those who have binge eating disorder consider keeping it a secret as a component of the disorder. Women are particularly secretive about BED and often feel more shame than men. Women tend to be alone more when binging than men.
3. Food cravings associated with binge eating
These aren’t your typical food cravings. These cravings are an intense desire to eat a specific kind of food, making it difficult to resist. People with BED are especially sensitive to cravings and tend to consume large quantities of sweets and complex carbohydrates.
4. Men also binge
Most people associate eating disorders prominently with women, but men also suffer from these disorders. This is particularly true with binge eating disorder because it’s seen as less stigmatizing than anorexia or bulimia. Of the adult population, 1.6 percent suffering from BED is female and 0.8 percent is male. Men
5. Doesn’t discriminate by race
Anorexia and bulimia are more prevalent among white females than in other ethnic groups. But, binge eating disorder doesn’t discriminate by race. The prevalence of BED is just as common among other ethnic groups as it is among white females.
Knowing these 5 facts about binge eating disorder can help you recognize if you, or anyone else in your life, is suffering from this disorder. It’s important to seek treatment for any eating disorder.
Dr. Amanda Itzkoff
My name is Amanda Itzkoff, MD. I am a New York City based Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
For additional information, please feel free to email our office at Amanda.Itzkoff@gmail.com.
To schedule an appointment, call our offices at 917-609-4990.