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What is Binge-Eating Disorder? Despite the fact that it affects millions of Americans, binge eating disorder (BED) is a widely misunderstood mental disorder. This illness, which involves frequent overeating marked by distress and lack of control, has long been underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
Bingeing goes beyond feeling “stuffed” or overeating on occasion. Binges become a regular occurrence, feel out of control and are followed by distress, shame and embarrassment. Binge eating disorder is a severe, life-threatening and treatable eating disorder. Common aspects of BED include functional impairment, suicide risk and a high frequency of co-occurring psychiatric disorders. Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States, affecting 3.5% of women, 2% of men,1 and up to 1.6% of adolescents.
What are the symptoms?
A. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
B. The binge eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
C. Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.
D. The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for 3 months.
E. The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging) as in bulimia nervosa and does not occur exclusively during the course of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa
What causes it?
BED develops from a complex combination of genetic, psychological and sociocultural factors.
Genetics: Approximately 95 percent of patients with BED had a parent with BED or substance abuse issues. There are also neurobiological components to loss-of-control eating behaviors and a complex set of hormones influence and determine hunger and satiety cues as well as how we feel, think and behave around food.
Psychological predispositions: Psychological factors can also prime an individual to binge eat:
Binge eating disorder sufferers often struggle with co-occurring mood and anxiety disorders, have experienced some kind of trauma, or struggle to navigate developmental milestones and life changes.
A culture obsessed with body image: The larger cultural narrative around dieting, binge eating and obesity is a prominent sociocultural factor influencing the development of binge eating disorder.
Who gets it?
BED affects 3.5% of women, 2% of men, and up to 1.6% of adolescents.
Binge eating disorder affects women slightly more often than men—estimates indicate that about 60% of people struggling with binge eating disorder are female and 40% are male.
In women, binge eating disorder is most common in early adulthood. In men, binge eating disorder is more common in midlife.
Binge eating disorder affects people of all demographics across cultures.
How is it treated?
Effective evidence-based treatments are available for binge eating disorder.
At ACPN, our trained multi-disciplinary team provides evidence-based treatments based on Enhanced Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT-E)
With proper treatment, a full and lasting recovery is possible. The ACPN has the only specialized program in the U.A.E. dedicated to the treatment of eating disorders, like Binge-eating disorder.
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