Binge Eating Disorder is less common but much more severe than overeating. Binge Eating Disorder is associated with more subjective distress regarding the eating behaviour, and commonly other co-occurring psychological problems.

Criteria for Diagnosis

According to the DSM-5 criteria, to be diagnosed as having Binge Eating Disorder a person must display:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterised by both of the following:
  • Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g. within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time and under similar circumstances.
  • A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g. a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).

The binge eating episodes are associated with three or more of the following:


  • eating much more rapidly than normal
  • eating until feeling uncomfortably full
  • eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungr
  • eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating
  • feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed or very guilty afterward
  • Marked distress regarding binge eating is present
  • Binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for three months
  • Binge eating not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behaviours as in Bulimia Nervosa and does not occur exclusively during the course of Bulimia Nervosa, or Anorexia Nervosa methods to compensate for overeating, such as self-induced vomiting.

How you may experience Binge Eating Disorder (Symptoms)


  • A compulsion to eat regardless of levels of hunger or fullness until the binge event is ‘done’ – this can sometimes feel like waking up from a trancelike state.
  • A feeling of being out of control during the binge-eating episodes. You may feel like you have no choice but to continue, until it stops.
  • Self-esteem and self-worth are closely linked to your body and body image conflicts. All feelings become that of ‘being or feeling’ fat.
  • Unlike Bulimia and Anorexia there are no attempts at compensatory behaviours such as vomiting, overeating, restricting or over-exercising.
  • Stock and hiding food to eat in secret at a later time.
  • A tendency to night-eat
  • Pre-occupation with food and eating and the anticipation of the binge, becoming a priority in your thinking.

EEDOS aim to help those suffering from Binge Eating Disorder to gain a healthier relationship with food.

Possible signs of Binge eating disorder:


  • Evidence of binge eating. This might include the disappearance of large amounts of food over short periods of time. Finding food wrappers and containers which may suggest consumption of food eaten secretly.
  • Guilt, shame and anger around eating habits.
  • Creation of lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge sessions.
  • Withdrawal from usual friends and activities.
  • In general, a desperation to control weight and eating habits with a constant belief of needing to diet.
  • Helplessness around increase in weight.
  • Health consequences (Diabetes etc)

Consequences and Complications

The poor eating habits that are common to people with binge eating disorder can lead to serious health problems. The major complications of binge eating disorder are the conditions that often result from being obese.

These include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Heart disease
  • Shortness of breath
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Menstrual problems
  • Decreased mobility (inability to move around) and tiredness
  • Sleep problems, including sleep apnea