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Do I have Binge Eating Disorder?

Eating Disorder Week
Eating Disorder Week

In the clinic, we speak to many patients who describe themselves as being binge eaters. Rarely however are they ‘formally’ diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder (BED).

BED has a very specific basis of diagnosis that is set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association. To be diagnosed with BED you are likely to binge on a regular basis, eat until you are uncomfortably full and you will care little about what you are eating. 

Even if you are diagnosed with BED it doesn’t mean that weight loss surgery is a bad idea as there are plenty of studies to show that Binge Eaters do well with a weight loss surgery, such as the gastric band for example.

We find that what most people who describe themselves as Binger Eaters are actually suffering with is Emotional Overeating. This is actually quite different. 

Signs of Emotional overeating are: 

  • The urge to eat comes on suddenly.
  • Feeling unsatisfied when your stomach is full.
  • Craving for fatty or sugary foods.
  • Associating eating with feelings of guilt or shame.


It’s impossible to say exactly what causes emotional overeating. As with most things it's likely to be a combination of factors, including but not limited to your environment, your genes and psychological factors.

If you can identify with the causes of emotional eating, don’t despair. These are symptoms that many successful weight loss surgery patients describe and they go on to be successful in managing their weight after surgery. 

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 *Haskins et al, Surg Endosc. 2014 Nov;28(11):3074-80. doi: 10.1007/s00464-014-3581-z. Epub 2014 Jun 6.

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*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for each individual. As such, Healthier Weight cannot guarantee specific weight loss goals.