What Is Binge Eating Disorder?

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A binge eating disorder occurs when an individual consistently eats an excessive amount of food, followed by depression or low-self esteem and often purging of some kind. Understand how consists of binge eating with information from a registered and licensed dietitian in this free video on healthy eating.

Part of the Video Series: Health & Nutrition
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Video Transcript

My name's Christine Marquette, and I'm a registered and licensed dietitian with Marquette Nutrition and Fitness. And I've been asked, what is binge eating disorder? Binge eating disorder is described as someone eating excessive amounts of food. Slightly different from another eating disorder called Bulimia Nervosa. With binge eating disorder, the person is not necessarily purging after they've had a binge eating episode. The main thing is that they are just overeating an extremely excessive amount of various types of food. It's happening on a frequent basis, it's not just an occasional thing. Say for example, you overate over the holidays. That wouldn't be considered binge eating disorder. An actual binge eating disorder is that it's happening very frequently, it's happening on a daily basis. After the event occurs, the person generally does not feel good about it. They often can go through depression, or just have very low self-esteem. Say to themselves they're not going to do it again, and then it happens again and again and again. It's a, basically a vicious cycle. Slightly different from Bulimia Nervosa, and in that case, after the binge eating episode, the person will use some method of purging. They will either use laxatives, or they will cause themselves to vomit, or some other method of basically getting rid of all the food they just consumed. So, two slightly different things. They're both eating disorders. The main thing is again, if it's something that happens just occasionally, maybe you overate on a holiday, that is not considered a binge eating disorder. It's when it's happening with regularity, and the person feels extremely bad, extremely depressed afterward. They generally have symptoms of low self-esteem. That's when it's considered to be binge eating disorder.


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