Why do I do this to myself?
What Is Binge Eating Disorder (B.E.D.)?
- B.E.D. affects an estimated 2.8 million adults, according to a national survey.*
- B.E.D. is more common among adults in the US than anorexia and bulimia combined.
- B.E.D. affects both women and men. Based on percentage, two times as many women are affected as men in the US.†
- B.E.D. can occur in normal-weight, overweight, or obese adults.
- B.E.D. occurs at a similar rate across non-Latino white (1.4%), Latino (2.1%), Asian (1.2%), and African American (1.5%) adults in the US.
*Based on 12-month prevalence estimates applied to the full US population ≥ 18 years.
†Based on estimated 12-month prevalence data in the US.
Signs and symptoms of binge eating disorder
People with binge eating disorder are embarrassed and ashamed of their eating habits, so they often try to hide their symptoms and eat in secret. Many binge eaters are overweight or obese, but some are of normal weight.
Behavioral symptoms of binge eating and compulsive overeating
- Inability to stop eating or control what you’re eating
- Rapidly eating large amounts of food
- Eating even when you're full
- Hiding or stockpiling food to eat later in secret
- Eating normally around others, but gorging when you’re alone
- Eating continuously throughout the day, with no planned mealtimes
Emotional symptoms of binge eating and compulsive overeating
- Feeling stress or tension that is only relieved by eating
- Embarrassment over how much you’re eating
- Feeling numb while bingeing—like you’re not really there or you’re on auto-pilot.
- Never feeling satisfied, no matter how much you eat
- Feeling guilty, disgusted, or depressed after overeating
- Desperation to control weight and eating habits
Ask yourself the following questions. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you have binge eating disorder.
- Do you feel out of control when you’re eating?
- Do you think about food all the time?
- Do you eat in secret?
- Do you eat until you feel sick?
- Do you eat to escape from worries, relieve stress, or to comfort yourself?
- Do you feel disgusted or ashamed after eating?
- Do you feel powerless to stop eating, even though you want to?