"eating to excess"
Binge Eating Disorder is defined as consuming large
quantities of food in a short period of time with the
feeling of lack of control over eating. Often, binge eating
is confused with compulsive overeating which involves
consuming larger than normal quantities during everyday
meals. The difference between the two disorders is the
short period of time and the sense of lack of control over
food consumption experienced during binge eating. Binge
eaters feel they are unable to stop eating, similar to a
bulimic without the purging activity.
Binges often occur when one begins to think about the food
they are depriving themselves of, forming a strong desire
to eat. Soon they feel unable to stop, therefore binge
eating. Feelings of disgust, guilt and depression follow
the binge. Binges, typically done in secret as the
individual is ashamed of their "loss of control" over food,
may be a result of overwhelming emotions, such as
depression or loneliness. The feelings that follow episodes
of binge eating lead to further depression, which in turn
leads to more binge eating. It is a cycle that needs to be
Compulsive overeating is defined as a regular
overindulgence of food. It is most commonly associated with
binge eating disorder.
Those suffering from compulsive overeating often eat in
response to the same issues that bulimics and binge eaters
experience - stress, depression, anxiety, loneliness.
Instead of binge eating great amounts of food during short
time periods, they compulsively consume larger portions on
a regular basis. This becomes a habit, resulting in weight
gain, therefore causing further depression and more binge