Binge eating disorder (BED), also known as compulsive overeating, has been designated as a psychiatric disorder requiring further study by the American Psychiatric Association. Like bulimics, individuals suffering from binge eating disorder indulge in regular episodes of gorging, but unlike bulimics, they do not purge afterward. Binges are accompanied by a similar sense of guilt, embarrassment, and loss of self-control seen among bulimics. Because of the tremendous number of calories consumed, many people with BED are overweight or obese , and as a result they are more prone to complications such as high blood pressure , diabetes , high cholesterol , and heart disease .
A clinical diagnosis of BED requires bingeing at least two times a week for a period of six months or longer.
American Dietetic Association (1998). Nutrition Intervention in the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). Chicago.
American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition. Washington, DC.
Escott-Stump, Sylvia, and Mahan, L. Kathleen (1996). Krause's Food, Nutrition, and Diet Therapy, 9th edition. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders.