Binge eating is when a person eats a much larger amount of food in a shorter period of time than he or she normally would. During binge eating, the person also feels a loss of control.
A binge eater often:
- Eats 5,000–15,000 calories in one sitting
- Often snacks, in addition to eating three meals a day
- Overeats throughout the day
Binge eating may occur on its own or with another eating disorder, such as bulimia, and usually leads to becoming overweight. People with bulimia typically eat large amounts of high-calorie foods, usually in secret. After binge eating, they often force themselves to vomit or take laxatives.
The cause of binge eating is unknown. However, binge eating often begins during or after strict dieting.