Binge eating disorder
"It's important to note that eating disorders are illnesses of denial and secrecy; they're often very difficult to track down."
Sara Forman, MD, Director of Children?s Hospital Boston?s Outpatient Eating Disorders Program
Binge-eating disorder is a newly recognized condition believed to affect millions of Americans. Most people with binge-eating disorder have frequent episodes of eating what others would consider an abnormally large amount of food, and frequent feelings of being unable to control what or how much is being eaten.
Children and teens with binge-eating disorder may:
- eat much more quickly than usual
- eat until uncomfortably full
- eat large amounts of food even when not hungry
- eat alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being eating
- feel disgusted, depressed and guilty after overeating
This disorder is different from binge-purge syndrome (also known as bulimia nervosa) because people with binge-eating disorder usually don’t purge afterward by vomiting or using laxatives.
Binge-eating disorder can have serious health consequences. Early diagnosis and treatment are extremely important.
How Children’s Hospital Boston approaches binge-eating disorder
The Eating Disorders Program at Children’s Hospital Boston provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment services every year to more than 200 adolescents with binge-eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and related eating disorders. Staffed by expert specialists, the program addresses your child’s medical, nutritional and psychological needs in order to effectively treat her disorder.
Our healthcare team also gives guidance to many providers in the northeastern United States and beyond.
- Providers from the outpatient Eating Disorders Program and other members of Children’s Division of Adolescent Medicine have helped develop inpatient clinical guidelines for children who are admitted to the hospital for eating disorder-related medical needs.
Our providers also consulted on the National Eating Disorders Screening Project. They have advocated for insurance coverage for eating disorders at the Massachusetts State House, and give frequent presentations on eating disorders throughout New England.
Get real, Barbie!
In recognition of the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Children's Center for Young Women's Health created a replica of what the Barbie doll's proportions would be if translated to an actual woman.Barbie stands 5 feet 9 inches with a 39-inch bust, 18-inch waist and size 3 shoe — an imbalance that would probably require her to walk on all fours!
Boys and their bodies: recognizing eating disorders in males
When you read the terms “anorexia” and “bulimia,” what comes to mind? If you’re like most people, your brain probably conjures up images of smoky-eyed, waif-thin European models, or maybe the teenage girls who emulate them here in America. But according to a recent report from Pediatrics, eating disorders affect a far more diverse group of people than many realize.
Binge Eating Disorder: Reviewed by Sara F. Forman, MD
© Children’s Hospital Boston; posted in 2011