top of page
Faith Elicia-Do You See What I See (1).png

Binge-Eating Disorder

Binge-eating disorder is characterized by a loss of control over food consumption.

People with this disorder can be obese or overweight.

They do not purge via vomiting, excessive exercise, or fasting as those with Bulimia-Nervosa would.

According to NIMH - National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of Binge-Eating can include:

  • ​Eating rapidly during a binge episode

  • Eating in isolation to avoid embarrassment

  • Eating when full or not hungry

  • Frequent dieting without possible weight loss

  • Feeling shame, guilt, or distress about eating

  • Binge episode takes place during a specific period of time

DSM V Criteria For Binge-Eating Disorder:

Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:

  1. Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances

  2. The sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g., a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating)


Binge-eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:

  1. Eating much more rapidly than normal

  2. Eating until feeling uncomfortably full

  3. Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry

  4. Eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating

  5. Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating


Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.


The binge eating occurs, on average,

  1. at least 2 days a week for 6 months (DSM-IV frequency and duration criteria)

  2. at least 1 day a week for 3 months (DSM-5 frequency and duration criteria)


The binge eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behavior (e.g., purging, fasting, excessive exercise) and does not occur exclusively during the course of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.

Applicable to DSM-5 only, BED severity is graded as follows:

  • Mild: 1 to 3 episodes per week

  • Moderate: 4 to 7 episodes per week

  • Severe: 8 to 13 episodes per week

  • Extreme: 14 or more episodes per week

Berkman ND, Brownley KA, Peat CM, et al. Management and Outcomes of Binge-Eating Disorder [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2015 Dec. (Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, No. 160.) Table 1, DSM-IV and DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for binge-eating disorder.

Available from:

bottom of page