Binge-eating disorder, which many experts consider a form of food addiction, is the most common eating disorder in the United States, afflicting approximately 3.5 percent of women and 2 percent of men.
The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), lists the following inclusion criteria for binge eating disorder:
Recurrent episodes of eating during a discrete period of time (e.g., within two hours) an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time and under similar circumstances
Lack of control over eating during the episode: feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating
Three of the following: eating much more than normal; eating until uncomfortably full; eating large amounts of food when not hungry; eating alone because of embarrassment over how much one eats; feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or guilty afterwards
• Marked distress about binge eating
• Bingeing occurs at least once a week for three months
• Binge eating that’s not associated with purging, such as self-induced vomiting, or other compensating behaviors to lose weight, including excessive exercise or laxative use
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