What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is an eating disorder that causes episodes of extreme overeating (also called binge eating) and feeling a lack of control while eating. During a binge eating episode, a person eats far more than what would be considered normal. After eating, the person often feels guilty, ashamed, or embarrassed. BED affects a person's physical and mental health.

What Causes BED?

The causes of BED are not known, but doctors believe the following may play a role:

  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Mental health issues, such as depression or low self-esteem
  • Societal pressures to be thin
  • Past traumatic experiences
  • Trouble developing or managing close relationships with family or friends

Who Can Develop BED?

Anyone of any gender can develop BED. The disorder is slightly more common in girls and women. BED is also associated with higher levels of anxiety and depression.

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