Many people are affected by overeating urges and binge eating. Binge eating is a disorder that I am interested in exploring. We all overeat from time to time. Taking an extra helping at Thanksgiving dinner or having dessert when you’re already full. For binge eaters, overeating is common and uncontrollable. A binge eater uses food to cope with stress and other negative emotions, even though afterwards, you feel worse. People feel like their stuck in a never-ending cycle; however binge eating disorder is treatable. With the right help and support, people can learn to control their eating and develop a healthy relationship with food.
Binge eating disorder is characterized by compulsive overeating in which people consume huge amounts of food while feeling out of control and powerless to stop. The symptoms of binge eating disorder usually begin in late adolescence or early adulthood, often after a major diet. A binge eating episode typically lasts around two hours, but some people binge on and off all day long. Binge eaters often eat even when they’re not hungry and continue eating long after they are full. They may also gorge themselves as fast as they can while barely registering what they’re eating or tasting. Binge eating disorder occurs in normal-weight, overweight and obese individuals. The essential feature of binge-eating is recurrent episodes binge eating must occur, on average, at least once per week for three months. An “episode of binge eating” is defined as eating, in a discrete period of time, an amount of food that is larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time. Feeling extremely distressed or upset during or after binging. Unlike other eating disorders there are no regular attempts to “make up” for the binges through vomiting, fasting, or over- exercising.
Individuals with binge-eating disorder are typically ashamed of their eating problems and attempt to conceal their symptoms. Binge eating usually occurs in secrecy or as inconspicuously as possible. A “discrete period of time” refers to a limited period, usually less than two hours. A single episode of binge eating need not be restricted to one setting. For example, an individual may begin a binge in a restaurant and then continue to eat on returning home. Continual snacking on small amounts of food throughout the day would not be considered an eating binge. Binge eating appears to be characterized more by an abnormality in the amount of food consumed than by a craving for a specific nutrient. People with eating disorder tend to struggle with feelings of guilt, disgust, and depression. They worry about what the compulsive eating will do to their bodies and beat themselves up for their lack of self-control. They desperately want to stop binge eating, but feel like they can’t.
Binge eating may be comforting for a brief moment, but when reality sets back in, along with regret and self-loathing. Binge eating often leads to weight gain and obesity, which only reinforces compulsive eating. The worse a binge eater feels about themselves and their appearance, the more they use food to cope. It becomes a vicious cycle a person eats to feel better, feeling even worse, and then turning back to food for relief. Binge eating leads to a wide variety of physical, emotional, and social problems. People with binge eating disorder report more health issues, stress, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts than people without an eating disorder. Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse are common side-affects as well. But the most prominent effect of binge eating disorder is weight gain. Studies show that overeating juices up the reward systems in our brain. So much, so in some people that it overpowers the brain’s ability to tell them to stop eating when they have had enough. All of us have experienced this effect when you have just finished a big dinner and could not possibly eat another…