Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by frequent episodes of binge eating, which are followed by purging to prevent weight gain. During these incidents, unusually large portions of food are consumed in secret, followed by compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or diuretic and laxative abuse. Although the types of food chosen may vary, sweets and high-calorie foods are commonly favored. Bulimic episodes are typically accompanied by a sense of a loss of self-control and feelings of shame.
A clinical diagnosis of bulimia nervosa requires that the behavior occur at least two times a week for a minimum of three months.
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