Who’s at the Greatest Risk for Binge Eating Disorder?

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Were you aware that the most frequently occurring eating disorder isn’t anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa? The truth is, the most common form of eating disorder, which affects from 6 to 8 million people in the United States, is binge eating disorder. People in need of binge eating disorder recovery often periodically and regularly have binge-eating episodes, in which they eat a large amount of food in a short period. It’s usually done in secret, and oftentimes it will be unhealthy junk food that’s eaten.  

Unlike other, more popularized eating disorders, people with binge eating disorder do not purge their food by vomiting, laxatives, or compulsive exercise.  Binge eating disorder is a very serious mental health problem that can carry severe physical health issues. However, with the help of compassionate, personalized binge eating disorder treatment, there is hope for long-term recovery from BED and other eating disorders.

What Is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating disorder, also shortened to BED, is a widespread and potentially dangers mental health disorder that results in compulsive overeating during binging episodes. In other words, BED is when a person regularly eats lots of food in a short time.

If BED is left untreated, the serious health issues surrounding obesity, and further psychiatric complications related to depression, poor self-image, and anxiety can occur. The latter group can lead to self-harm and sometimes even death. 

The American Psychiatric Association says that people with BED binge at least 1 to 3 times per week, eating large amounts of food much more quickly than normal. Usually, the person binging feels shame and self-disgust at the behavior but still feels compelled to keep doing it. While it’s not present in every case of BED, both men and women with BED are often overweight or obese.

Who’s at the Highest Risk of Getting BED?

BED can affect people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. It’s unusual among eating disorders in that the need for binge eating disorder recovery is almost as common in men than in women. It affects about 2 percent of men – and more than 3 percent of women in the US will develop BED at some point in their lives. BED is also the most common eating disorder among Latinx, African-American and Asian-American women.

Mental health disorders are notoriously difficult to pinpoint – the causes vary from person to person, and there are rarely single causes. However, some factors have been identified. Some of these causes may include:

  • Past Trauma
  • Genetics
  • A history of Dieting
  • Stress, Depression or Anxiety (Co-Occurring Disorders)
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Negative Body Image
  • And More

For those interested in binge eating treatment, it is important to act quickly in to prevent the weight gain, heart disease and other health consequences of obesity that can come with BED. 

What Are the Warning Signs of Binge Eating Disorder?

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of BED include:

  • Fluctuating weight or sudden weight gain
  • Eating meals faster than normal
  • Eating large meals despite not being hungry
  • Keeping hidden food
  • Trying to hide wrappers or other food trash
  • Eating alone or in hiding
  • Feeling depressed, guilty or disgusted after eating
  • Anxiety 

Binge Eating Treatment Options

Binge eating disorder treatment is similar to other eating disorder treatment programs in that it aims to eliminate disordered behaviors and prepare the individual to return to life, fully recovered and healthier. People interested in binge eating treatment nearby can usually choose from several different levels of care including day treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, and residential programs. Normally speaking, insurance can cover much if not all the cost of treatment.

Consider Binge Eating Treatment Programs

It’s a no-brainer to seek out binge eating disorder treatment program that is designed to give people the tools they need to overcome their disordered behaviors and embrace life after recovery. There are specialized programs for every age, gender, and social situation, and it’s more than medical treatment; it’s a chance to reclaim your life.