Health Library

Categories > Diet and Nutrition > Eating disorders

BED—The other eating disorder

If anorexia is on one end of the eating disorder spectrum, binge eating disorder (BED) is on the other. BED affects about 2 percent of Americans—as many as 4 million people. A typical binger eats huge quantities of food often very quickly and usually when she’s alone. She feels ashamed and disgusted afterward, but the urge to binge is too powerful to control—so it happens again and again.

If you’ve been known to devour an entire bag of chips from time to time, you might be wondering if you have BED. Read the descriptions below; if two or more apply to you, you may have a problem:

  • You normally binge at least twice a week.
  • You eat in private.
  • Your binges stop only when you run out of food or feel sick.
  • You use food as a de-stresser.
  • You feel ashamed and disgusted after a binge.

If you’re concerned, talk to your doctor.