Binge Eating

Binge eating is when a person eats a much larger amount of food in a shorter period of time than he or she normally would. During binge eating, the person also feels a loss of control.

A binge eater often:
  • Eats up to 5,000 - 15,000 calories in one sitting
  • Often eat snacks, in addition to eating three meals a day
  • Has a pattern of overeating throughout the day

Binge eating may occur on its own or with another eating disorder, such as bulimia. People with bulimia typically eat large amounts of high-calorie foods, usually in secret. After this binge eating they often force themselves to vomit or take laxatives.


The cause of binge eating is unknown. However, binge eating often begins during or after strict dieting.

When to Contact your Doctor

Call your Doctor if you think you might have a pattern of binge eating or bulimia.

What to Expect at Your Out-Patient Consultation

The doctor will perform a detailed physical examination and ask questions about your eating patterns and symptoms. Blood tests may be done. Medication is usually not needed for this disorder. However, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants if you are anxious or depressed. Psycho therapy is often recommended. Individual, group, family, and behavioral therapy might help. Biofeedback training may also be recommended.

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