Mention eating disorders to the majority of people and they will probably imagine someone who is ‘stick thin’ or emaciated. They cannot picture someone who is overweight or obese.
Admittedly, anorexics and bulimics will often present in this way – but not all eating disorder sufferers are obsessed with starving themselves.
Binge eating disorder, often triggered by stress or trauma, is a condition which, for most sufferers, means that eating has become something that they can no longer control. They are powerless to stop or even slow the rate at which they are ingesting food. Without the accompanying bingeing or purging associated with bulimia, sufferers experience rapid weight gain which, in turn, impacts on the individual’s physical health and mental well-being, as well as personal relationships and social development.
Binge eating disorder is not simply occasional overeating; nor is it having the odd extra slice of cake or pizza. Sufferers experience this problem on a regular basis and are often ashamed of their behavior, withdrawing from social life in order to hide their inability to control their eating habits.