Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

Then I take all the food I can, put it in my mouth, often without tasting it, often without chewing it, I swallow it. And when my stomach hurts I feel guilty, I feel scared. I think I have bulimia without vomiting, is that possible?

What is Bine Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) could be translated as eating outside. Those who suffer from BED suffer from uncontrollable binge eating. They often eat a lot in a very short time. They experience the negative feeling of not having their eating binge under control. BED is similar to Bulimia Nervosa. The big difference is that there is no compensatory behavior (e.g. vomiting, laxatives), which makes the result of the problem much more visible. Not everyone who eats excessively has a ‘real’ binge. True binge eating, such as those associated with BED, is characterized by:

  • frequently eating abnormally large amounts of food without feeling hungry but based on negative feelings.
  • the feeling of no longer having control over eating, with feelings of guilt or displeasure afterwards.

BED is a disease and not a habit of someone with little willpower. It occurs mainly in female adolescents and adults, sometimes in young people. A patient often finds himself in a vicious circle: wants to conform to an ideal image, goes on a diet; becomes disappointed by the feeling of having given in to impulses again; stricter lines… and so on. It is often the case that the stricter the diet, the more persistent the binge eating occurs, and the more weight gain occurs. Further research is being conducted into the causes of BED. However, there is often: A negative self-image; fear of failure; a perfectionist attitude; unprocessed emotions from the past; feelings of anger, sadness, boredom; noticeably impulsive behavior.


  • you are overweight; always busy with losing weight, eating, not eating and dieting.
  • overeating is not ‘compensated’ by vomiting or using laxatives.
  • students weigh themselves frequently, often several times a day; the emotional mood is largely determined by what the young person weighs and eats.
  • the young person feels like a weakling, but he/she still cannot stop.
  • binge eating often takes place in secret. In company, people eat as normally as possible.
  • In order to obtain a lot of food inconspicuously, various shops are often visited.
  • a lot of money is spent on buying food.



  • feelings of shame, guilt, sadness, irritation and fear.
  • concentration problems.
  • fatigue, lethargy, insomnia, high blood pressure, fluid retention in the legs, obesity.
  • risk of social isolation due to avoiding social interaction.
  • chance of financial problems or debts.



If a young person may have an eating disorder, it is best to agree on an action plan between the school and social services.

  • be sympathetic, but direct, in conversations. Don’t give up when the problem is first denied.
  • always listen carefully and show understanding for the young person’s point of view, even if you do not have to agree with it
  • indicate that you want to help and suggest possible steps that can be taken further. You can encourage people to contact their GP or social services. Don’t promise things you can’t deliver.
  • make an appointment with the parents about the young person’s request for help.
  • do not make agreements about food, because the young person will not be able to keep to them.
  • emphasize that healing takes time and patience. Explain that there is a lot to gain, but also a lot to lose, by sticking to the habits.
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