Condition Menu

What is binge eating disorder?

Binge eating goes beyond feeling “stuffed” or overeating on occasion. With binge eating disorder, binges become a regular occurrence, feel out of control and are followed by distress, shame and embarrassment.

Symptoms and Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder (BED) is characterized by frequent overeating (bingeing) – at least once a week over a period of three months. These binge episodes are also combined with feeling a lack of control, intense feelings of distress and three or more of the following behaviors:

Symptoms and Signs

Eating more rapidly than normal

Eating until feeling uncomfortably full

Eating large amounts of food even when not feeling physically hungry

Eating alone because of feelings of embarrassment stemming from how much one eats

Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed or guilty after eating

What causes binge eating disorder?

Binge eating disorder (BED) is caused by a complex combination of genetic, psychological and sociocultural factors.

man in park

8 percent of American adults suffer from binge eating disorder

In addition to understanding the causes and symptoms of binge eating disorder (BED), it’s also helpful to understand the facts and statistics:

  • 8 percent of American adults suffer from binge eating disorder in their lifetime.
  • Approximately half of the risk for BED is genetic.
  • Nearly half of BED patients have a comorbid mood disorder.
  • More than half of BED patients have comorbid anxiety disorders.
group preparing food

How is Binge Eating Treated?

You can recover from binge eating disorder — with the right help! The specialized binge eating disorder treatment team at Eating Recovery Center works closely with diverse individuals to understand how each person has unique biological, psychological and social factors that contribute to their illness.

Yoga Created with Sketch.
Applefood Created with Sketch.

A full and lasting recovery from binge eating is possible

The Eating Recovery Center is the nation's only health care system dedicated to the treatment of binge eating disorder at all levels of care, including inpatient treatment, residential treatment, partial hospitalization treatment and intensive outpatient treatment.

How to stop binge eating

If you have binge eating disorder, it does not mean you lack self-control. It just means that you have an illness that requires specialized therapeutic care. There is no shame in having binge eating disorder and there is no shame in seeking professional help.

At Eating Recovery Center, we offer treatment programs dedicated to binge eating disorder and related issues. Please call us at 877-825-8584 to speak confidentially with one of our Master's level clinicians. The call is free. We can help you understand your treatment options and what to expect during the healing process.


A Binge Eating Recovery Story

Mental Note

Andy details the pain and shame he felt for years as he struggled with binge eating. Hear his story of hope.

Binge Eating Disorder is a Real Eating Disorder: My Story


Plus-size author, adventurer, speaker and influencer Kara Richardson Whitely shares her experience in overcoming binge eating.

Eating Recovery Center is accredited through the Joint Commission. This organization seeks to enhance the lives of the persons served in healthcare settings through a consultative accreditation process emphasizing quality, value and optimal outcomes of services.

Organizations that earn the Gold Seal of Approval™ have met or exceeded The Joint Commission’s rigorous performance standards to obtain this distinctive and internationally recognized accreditation. Learn more about this accreditation here.

Joint Commission Seal