binge eating

What Is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating disorder, or BED, is a kind of eating disorder that is now officially recognized as a diagnosis. People with eating disorders usually develop them as a way to deal with deeper issues like anxiety or depression. 


Those who suffer from this disorder may eat a lot of food in a short period of time. Generally, a person may have a sense of relief during a binge but then later experience feelings of shame or loss of control.


Signs and Symptoms

People who have BED experience feelings of extreme unhappiness or distress about their overeating, weight, and body shape. Some of the symptoms of binge eating include:


  • eating much more rapidly than normal
  • eating until uncomfortably full
  • eating large amounts without feeling hungry
  • eating alone due to feelings of embarrassment and shame
  • feelings of guilt or disgust with oneself

Potential Causes

There is still a lot of research being done on the cause of binge eating disorder but there are some factors that might play a role in its development:


  • Genetics — People with BED may be more sensitive to dopamine, which is responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure.
  • Gender — BED is more common in women.
  • Body image — Those  with BED often have a negative body image.
  • Emotional trauma — People who have gone through stressful life events, like abuse, death, or a car accident, show a greater risk.
  • Other conditions — Almost 80% of people with BED have at least one additional psychological disorder like depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, anxiety, or substance abuse. 

Binge eating disorder usually presents in someone’s late teens to early twenties, but it can happen at any age. Most people need help and support to overcome their BED, and if left untreated, it can last for many years.


The PMI Research Centers are researching BED and are seeking new participants to join. Our studies seek to determine the safety and efficacy of an investigatory drug for the treatment of those with the disease. To see if you qualify for our study, you can fill out this form here