Binge Eating Disorderenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-bingeEat-enHD-AR1.jpgKids who eat unusually large amounts of food - and feel guilty or secretive about it - could be struggling with binge eating disorder.growth, growing, heavy snacking, large amounts of food, guilt, guilty, secretive, eating disorder, binge eating disorder, out of control, binge eating, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, vomit, laxatives, compulsive exercise, overweight, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gallbladder disease, growth spurt, emotional stress, irregular eating pattern, depression, boredom, anxiety, family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, stress, diet, weight-control program, CD1Eating Disorders07/18/200003/10/202103/10/2021Mary L. Gavin, MD01/01/20215aa42ef1-f910-487b-982c-2e410fc45fc9https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/binge-eating.html/<h3>What Is Binge Eating Disorder?</h3> <p>Lots of us find comfort in food. And most people will sometimes eat much more than they normally do on special occasions.</p> <p>But someone with binge eating disorder has a different relationship with food. They feel like they've lost all control over how much they eat, and they can't stop, even when uncomfortably full. They also binge at least once a week for several months.</p> <p>For people with binge <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/eating-disorders.html/">eating disorder</a>, food may offer feelings of calm or comfort, or stop them from feeling upset. But after a binge, it can have the opposite effect, causing <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anxiety-disorders.html/">anxiety</a>, guilt, and distress. Many people who binge eat are <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/overweight-obesity.html/">overweight</a>. But those at a healthy weight can also have a binge eating disorder.</p> <h3>What Are the Signs &amp; Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder?</h3> <p>Binge eaters usually are unhappy about their <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/childs-weight.html/">weight</a> and many feel <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/understanding-depression.html/">depressed</a>.</p> <p>Someone who's binge eating also might:</p> <ul> <li>eat a lot of food quickly</li> <li>hide food containers or wrappers in their room</li> <li>have big changes in their weight (up or down)</li> <li>skip meals, eat at unusual times (like late at night), and eat alone</li> <li>have a history of eating in response to emotional <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/stress.html/">stress</a> (like family conflict, peer rejection, or school problems)</li> </ul> <p>People who binge might have feelings that are common in many eating disorders, such as depression, anxiety, guilt, or shame. They may avoid school, work, or socializing with friends because they're ashamed of their binge eating problem or changes in their <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/body-image.html/">body shape</a> and weight.</p> <p>When kids or teen binge eat, parents may first suspect a problem when large amounts of food go missing from the pantry or refrigerator.</p> <p>Binge eating is different from bulimia, another eating disorder. People with bulimia binge eat, but try to make up for overeating by throwing up, using laxatives, or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/compulsive-exercise.html/">over-exercising</a> to lose weight.</p> <h3>What Causes Binge Eating?</h3> <p>The exact cause of binge eating disorder isn't known. But it's likely due to a combination of things, including genetics, family eating habits, emotions, and eating behavior, like skipping meals. Some people use food as a way to soothe themselves or to cope with difficult feelings.</p> <p>People with binge eating disorder are more likely to have other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ptsd.html/">post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)</a>, and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/adhd.html/">ADHD</a>.</p> <p>It's hard to know how many teens may binge eat. Guys and girls both can have the disorder. But because people often feel guilty or embarrassed about out-of-control eating, many don't talk about it or get help.</p> <h3>How Is Binge Eating Disorder Diagnosed?</h3> <p>If a doctor thinks a child or teen might have a binge eating disorder, they'll ask lots of questions about their medical history and dietary habits. The doctor will also ask about the family history, family eating patterns, and emotional issues.</p> <p>After an exam, the doctor may order lab tests to check for health problems related to weight gain, like <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hypertension.html/">high blood pressure</a>, high <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cholesterol.html/">cholesterol</a>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/apnea.html/">obstructive sleep apnea</a>, and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/weight-diabetes.html/">diabetes</a>.</p> <p>To diagnose binge eating disorder, doctors and mental health professionals look for signs such as:</p> <ul> <li>eating more food than most people eat in a set period of time</li> <li>a sense of lack of control over eating</li> <li>binge eating, on average, at least once a week for at least 3 months</li> <li>binge eating associated with: <ul> <li>eating faster than most people</li> <li>eating until uncomfortably full</li> <li>eating lots of food when not hungry</li> <li>eating alone or in secret because they're embarrassed about how much they eat</li> <li>feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <h3>How Is Binge Eating Disorder Treated?</h3> <p>People with binge disorders are best treated by a team that includes a doctor, dietitian, and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/finding-therapist.html/">therapist</a>. Treatment includes nutrition counseling, medical care, and talk therapy (individual, group, and family therapy). The doctor might prescribe medicine to treat mental health concerns linked to binge eating, such as anxiety or depression.</p> <p>It can be hard for someone who binge eats to reach out for help because they're ashamed of overeating or of being overweight. Many teens don't get treatment for binge eating until they're older. But getting help early makes a person more likely to avoid health problems related to weight gain.</p> <h3>How Can Parents Help?</h3> <p>If your child might have a problem with binge eating, call your doctor for advice. The doctor can recommend mental health professionals who have experience treating eating disorders in kids and teens.</p> <p>Reassure your child that you're there to help or just to listen. Encourage healthier eating habits by being a good role model in your relationship with <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/habits.html/">food</a> and exercise. Don't use food as a reward.</p> <p>These tips can help your child decrease binge episodes:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Don't skip meals.</strong> Set a regular meal and snack schedule. People are more likely to overeat if they get too hungry.</li> <li><strong>Practice mindful eating.</strong> Encourage your child to pay attention to what they eat and notice when they feel full.&nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Identify triggers.</strong> Help your child avoid or manage things that trigger binge eating. Healthier ways to manage stress include music, art, dance, writing, or talking to a friend. Yoga, meditation, or taking a couple of deep breaths also can help your child relax.</li> <li><strong>Be active as a family.</strong> Regular <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/exercise.html/">exercise</a> can feel good and help your child manage weight.</li> </ul> <p>You also can find support and more information online at:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/by-eating-disorder/bed"> The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Eating-Disorders">NAMI</a></li> </ul>
Binge Eating DisorderBinge eating is a type of eating disorder. This article for teens explains what it is, how to recognize it, and how to get help.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/binge-eating.html/fb5faa9d-1d43-4de7-990d-0a8a821a11fa
Binge Eating Disorder Factsheet (for Schools)What teachers should know about binge eating and how to help students with the disorder.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/binge-factsheet.html/91f5112f-1a2e-4222-8514-df069e37e7c1
Body Dysmorphic DisorderFor some people, worries about appearance become extreme and upsetting, interfering with their lives, a condition called body dysmorphic disorder.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/body-image-problem.html/3171d598-f999-4481-a898-f300b4aedc8c
Body Image and Self-EsteemWhen your body changes, so can your image of yourself. Find out how your body image affects your self-esteem and what you can do.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/body-image.html/7149667b-50a9-40d9-bee3-57800969b218
Compulsive ExerciseCompulsive exercise can lead to serious health problems. Lots of people don't know when they've crossed the line from healthy activity to unhealthy addiction. Read about ways to tell.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/compulsive-exercise.html/a616539b-6d1d-472f-bd06-b12122dd0fec
Eating DisordersEating disorders are common among teens and kids, especially young women. Read about the warning signs, prevention strategies, and ways to help a child with an eating disorder.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/eating-disorders.html/0d56cfd0-b454-4f23-9fa2-0c7fae102171
Emotional EatingWe've all eaten a whole bag of chips out of boredom or while cramming for a big test. Learn more about emotional eating, and how to manage it, in this article for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/emotional-eating.html/2b28ce09-c962-47f4-bc2a-84aa6f65915b
Encouraging a Healthy Body ImageA healthy and positive body image means liking your body, appreciating it, and feeling grateful for its qualities and capabilities. Parents can help kids develop a healthy body image.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/body-image.html/df88d420-5c9a-4744-8739-3cdb85f1519c
Female Athlete TriadFemale athlete triad is a combination of three conditions: disordered eating, amenorrhea (loss of a girl's period), and osteoporosis (a weakening of the bones).https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/triad.html/660b8bc9-8181-412e-a420-cbf191295794
Going to a TherapistWhat's it like to go to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist? Find out in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/going-to-therapist.html/98f4f29c-08f9-42ae-84d2-a492759ee506
Healthy EatingGood nutrition and a balanced diet help kids grow up healthy. Here's how to improve nutrition and encourage smart eating habits.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/habits.html/429ff6f2-05a1-4593-a32b-4c6e4837e415
How Can I Feel Better About My Body?It's normal to wish you could change something about your body. Find out more about these feelings in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/feel-better-about-body.html/50063a44-dbba-4561-923a-89df101014d4
Kids and ExerciseBesides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/exercise.html/f2ac8b06-6d72-4382-8b53-dee0908bc566
What Can I Do About Overeating?See what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/expert-overeating.html/1b81549b-7138-4e7f-a5b0-f13b227df6f8
What's the Right Weight for My Height?One of the biggest questions guys and girls have is whether they're the right weight. Because the body is growing and changing so much during adolescence, it can be tough to answer this question.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/weight-height.html/a49c2e77-14c4-4d3d-b99b-e3f8b95e0382
Your Child's Self-EsteemStrong self-esteem is a child's armor against the challenges of the world. Here's how to build healthy self-esteem in your kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/self-esteem.html/54f51c71-4edf-436b-a58c-b75e3c7b64d8
Your Child's Weight"What's the right weight for my child?" is one of the most common questions parents have. It seems like a simple one, but it's not always easy to answer.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/childs-weight.html/47c960bc-61c9-4a05-933d-50f57967c0a7
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-behavioralHealthkh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-behavioralHealthFeeding & Eatinghttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/growth/feeding/1300b225-a549-4965-b0de-343866c92c2cWeight & Eating Problemshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/nutrition-center/weight-eating-problems/0474b751-8c7d-4ffa-b7d5-b092ad59a88fBehaviorhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/emotions/behavior/ec417296-5115-48f8-9e98-400241ef0269