Binge Eating Disorder – Fact File

Binge Eating Disorder involves regularly eating a large amount of food over a short period of time, until you are uncomfortably full. It is a serious mental health condition that can leave people feeling as though they are not in control of their actions.

Men and women of any age can be diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder, however it most commonly starts in their 20’s.

Causes of Binge Eating Disorder:
While there is no definitely cause for developing Binge Eating Disorder, there may be some risk factors that play a part…

  • Having a history of eating disorders, depression, alcohol/drug misuse.
  • Being overly worried about being slim, particularly if they are under pressure from society or their job (dancer, athlete, model)
  • Anxiety and low self-esteem.
  • Having an obsessive personality or being a perfectionist.
  • Stress / trauma

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Eating a lot of food and not stopping when full
  • Eating when they are not hungry
  • Eating very quickly
  • Eating alone or in secret
  • Feeling depressed, guilty, ashamed or disgusted after binging
  • Try to hide how much they have eaten
  • May store supplies of food
  • May gain weight

Some people with Binge Eating Disorder may plan their binge eating, whereas others may be spontaneous (or have a mixture of both.)
With binge eating often takin place when the person is alone.


Most people who receive treatment for Binge Eating Disorder will recover well. Treatments tend to be therapy based for this type of condition, mainly using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as a way to try and re-wire the brain and create a healthier relationship with food.

Some therapies may be offered on a one-to-one basis, whilst others are offered in groups or with family members.
Sometimes attending group sessions can be very helpful. Seeing other people who are going through a similar experience to yourself, seeing them taking the steps towards getting better and being able to lean on one another and support each other.
Therapy with family can also be helpful as it educates your family members about your condition and helps them to find ways to best support you from home.

There are also a lot of online forums and support groups available.


NHS – Overview on Binge Eating Disorder

BEAT – Beating Eating Disorders – Binge Eating

Mayo Clinic – Binge Eating Disorder

Updated December 2023

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