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What Causes Compulsive Overeating?

Compulsive overeating is a form of disordered eating, which means that a combination of genetics, psychological issues and sociocultural factors generally contribute to the cause of this behavior.

Because many people struggling with overeating are of normal or higher weights, they often don’t realize their overeating and co-occurring weight issues stem from emotional issues.

There is limited recognition — even among skilled and well-meaning healthcare providers — of the biological components of obesity including how weight is influenced by genetics, physiological factors and loss-of-control eating behaviors.

The reality is that a complex set of hormones influence and determine hunger and satiety cues as well as how we feel, think and behave around food. One’s weight and eating behaviors are largely determined by neurobiology rather than laziness or ‘motivation’ to lose weight.

Julie Friedman, PhD, National Senior Director, Binge Eating Treatment and Recovery Program

What compulsive overeating is NOT

The cultural narrative around obesity wrongly suggests that:

  • Laziness is to blame for overeating and accompanying weight issues.
  • Individuals have 100 percent control over their food consumption and weight.
  • That willpower alone drives moderation, weight loss and overall health.

It’s important for anyone suffering from an overeating disorder to understand that these statements are not valid.

Recovery from compulsive overeating is possible

Compulsive overeating is an illness that is often shrouded in shame and isolation. There is no shame in recognizing that you have a problem and reaching out for help.

We are happy to speak to you about any eating-related concerns you have. Please call us at 877-825-8584 to speak confidentially with one of our Masters-level clinicians. We can listen, explore treatment options, review insurance benefits and help you find a solution that is right for you.

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.

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