1. What is a binge eating disorder?
People with binge eating disorder often eat an unusually large amount of food and feel out of control during the binges. People with binge eating disorder also may: •eat more quickly than usual during binge episodes
•eat until they are uncomfortably full
•eat when they are not hungry
•eat alone because of embarrassment
•feel disgusted, depressed, or guilty after overeating
2. What are the signs and symptoms of a binge eating disorder? Children and teens that sometimes eat a lot don't necessarily have binge eating disorder. Kids can have huge appetites, especially during growth spurts, when they need more nutrients to fuel their growing bodies. So it can be difficult to determine whether a child has binge eating disorder. But several signs distinguish someone who binge eats from someone with a "healthy appetite." Parents may first suspect a problem when they discover large amounts of food are missing from the pantry or the refrigerator, though it's hard to imagine one child could have eaten so much. Other signs of a problem include:
•A child eating a lot of food quickly
•A pattern of eating in response to emotional stress, such as family conflict, peer rejection, or poor academic performance •A child feeling ashamed or disgusted by the amount he or she eats •Finding food containers hidden in a child's room
•An increasingly irregular eating pattern, such as skipping meals, eating lots of junk food, and eating at unusual times (like late at night) People who “binge eat” may also experience feelings that are common to many eating disorders, such as depression, anxiety, guilt, or shame. They may avoid school, work, or socializing with friends because they're ashamed of their binge eating problem.
3. What are the causes of a binge eating disorder?
No one knows for sure what causes binge eating disorder. Researchers are looking at the following factors that may affect...