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Binge Eating Disorder

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​​Definition & Facts

Binge eating is when you eat a large amount of food in a short amount of time and feel that you can’t control what or how much you are eating. If you binge eat regularly—at least once a week for 3 months—and feel you cannot control your eating, you may have binge eating disorder.

Symptoms & Causes

If you have binge eating disorder, you may eat a large amount of food in a short amount of time and feel that you can’t control what or how much you are eating. No one knows for sure what causes binge eating disorder. Like other eating disorders, binge eating disorder may result from a mix of factors related to your genes, your thoughts and feelings, and social issues.

Diagnosis & Treatment

A mental health professional can talk with you about psychological symptoms and eating patterns to find out if you have binge eating disorder. Treatment for binge eating disorder could include some types of talk therapy, behavioral weight loss treatment, or medicine.

Clinical Trials

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support basic and clinical research into many diseases and conditions.

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This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

The NIDDK would like to thank:
Marian Tanofsky-Kraff, Ph.D., Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Thomas A. Wadden, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine