What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating disorder is the most prevalent but the least well understood and publicised of all eating disorders. It is estimated that between one and three per cent of the population may be affected.

Individuals with binge eating disorder tend to be older than those with anorexia or bulimia when they seek treatment. Among those undergoing treatment for obesity, it is believed that as many as 30 per cent may have binge eating disorder.

How is binge eating disorder treated?

The good news for people with binge eating disorder is that like bulimia, there are established, effective treatments which work well. Treatment almost always takes place on an outpatient basis; only in rare cases, where there are serious physical complications, is it necessary for an individual to be admitted for inpatient treatment.

Outpatient treatment involves going to see a specialist once or twice a week for therapy sessions lasting one hour or ninety minutes. The specialist may be a consultant psychiatrist or a psychologist.

Cognitive behavioural therapy has been proven to be very effective in the treatment of eating disorders and there is form of CBT which has been specifically developed for the treatment of eating disorders, called CBT-E.