Binge Eating Disorder

  • Medical Author:
    Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD

    Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Binge Eating Disorder Pictures Slideshow

Quick GuideEating Disorders Pictures Slideshow: Understanding Binge Eating, Anorexia and Bulimia

Eating Disorders Pictures Slideshow: Understanding Binge Eating, Anorexia and Bulimia

What are complications and prognosis of binge eating disorder?

People with binge eating disorder seem to be at higher risk of developing high blood pressure and other forms of heart disease, type II diabetes, gallbladder disease, some forms of cancer, and abnormal cholesterol levels (for example, high levels of total cholesterol and of so-called bad cholesterol types, plus low levels of good cholesterol) compared to similar-weight individuals without this eating disorder. The obesity that often results from binge eating disorder also puts sufferers at risk for problems like menstrual problems, and joint and muscle pain.

After about six years, a little more than half of individuals with binge eating disorder who have received intensive treatment have been found to have some significant resolution of symptoms, while about one-third have only intermediate outcome, about 6% have poor outcome, and 1% may die during that period of time. Eating disorders in general and binging behavior specifically can increase the likelihood that a person engages in self-injurious behaviors like cutting or experiences suicidal thoughts or actions. However, it is important to note that the prognosis of binge eating disorder seems to be quite changeable over time.

Is it possible to prevent binge eating disorder?

Teaching teens and adults about resisting societal pressure toward thinness, understanding what determines body weight, the negative effects of eating disorders, and encouraging good self-esteem, stress management, healthy weight control, and acceptance of their body have been found to be helpful in the prevention of eating disorders.

Where can people get help and more information on binge eating disorder?

Eating Disorders Anonymous

Overeaters Anonymous (OA): OA World Service Organization


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Wallace, L.M., P.C. Masson, D.L. Safer, and K.M. Ranson. "Change in emotion during the course of treatment predicts binge abstinence in guided self-help dialectical behavior therapy for binge eating disorder." Journal of Eating Disorders 2 (2014): 35.

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Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/18/2015

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