Health Zone

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder

Eating disorders involve significant psychological distress, as well as being associated with serious physical health complications. One of the three major forms of eating disorders is binge eating disorder. Binge eating disorder involves binge eating but without subsequent purging episodes.

Signs & symptoms


This disorder has some similarities with Bulimia Nervosa, and has the same aspects to binge eating, namely eating a large quantity of food in a certain time period, being more than what most people would eat in a similar situation, and a feeling of not having control over the binge eating. However they also experience at least 3 of the following with binge eating episodes:

  • Eating much faster than normal.
  • Continue to eat until feeling uncomfortably full.
  • Eating large amounts of food even though they are not feeling hungry.
  • Eating alone because of embarrassment regarding how much they are eating.
  • Feeling disgusted with themselves, guilty and depressed.
  • The binge-eating causes considerable distress, and occurs around once a week for 3 months. It is not however associated with behaviour to try and prevent weight gain.



Approximately one in 20 Australians has an eating disorder. It affects more females than males, although this difference is less in binge eating disorder. Unfortunately less is known about eating disorders among males.


Main treatments

The primary approach is psychological, the person centred approach that is tailored to the individual is suggested as an effective model for specific treatment to be tailored. This treatment focuses on recovery and looks at the illness in a wide context (e.g., physical and psychological). It involves the person with the eating disorder in all treatment decisions.