Binge Eating disorder (BED)

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) in Australia is not represented by any one special or specific organisation. The are several government and non-government agencies and entities that provide BED services and/or information. However in the United States of America (US of A) there is a non-government, not for profit organisation soley dedicated to BED. In 2008 the current president and CEO Chevese Turner led a group of like mined people to create and establish the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) . As a single diagnosis based organisation it has developed a range of specific information about BED diagnosis, treatment and care. Eating Disorders Families Australia acknowledges that BEDA’s information regarding BED has been utilised to provide information on this page

BED in Australia

Many of the Australian government and non-government organisations utilise the resources and information that BEDA and other international BED clinicians have developed and/or published.

BED is characterised by recurrent episodes of binging, or extreme overeating. Binging occurs when a person eats a large amount of food in a short amount of time, and is usually marked by a lack of control. On average, BED is diagnosed when a person has an episode at least once a week for at least three months.

People with BED may eat very quickly, even if they’re not hungry. They often feel guilt and embarrassment about their eating, which leads to binging alone to hide the behaviour.

If you think your loved one is showing signs of BED, it’s time to get help.

What BED is NOT

  • BED is not a choice
  • BED is not lack of willpower
  • BED does not indicate failure
  • BED is not overeating at a holiday meal or special occasion

BED is not obesity

While it is estimated 70% of those who suffer from BED are obese, not everyone who has BED is obese. The “cure” is not to lose weight. In fact, prescribing weight loss strategies further entrenches the disorder, causing intense shame and resulting in weight gain.

What is a binge?

A “binge” can vary widely in amount of food consumed and duration of time spent consuming it. While it might mean a considerable amount for some, it can mean a smaller amount for others. Regardless of the amount of food eaten, the person still feels out of control to stop, with distress following the episode.

Although those with binge eating disorder are more likely than average to be of higher weight, anyone at any weight may struggle with the disorder. For those at higher weights, the presence of cultural weight stigma and bullying experiences may contribute to a greater degree to the development of binge eating disorder, as well as co-occurring mood disorders and addiction

Understanding Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder (BED) was officially recognized as a formal diagnosis in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013. This is significant because the BED diagnosis was listed in Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) in the previous edition (DSM-IV), which indicated that additional research was necessary to assess whether the disorder was significantly different from other eating disorders and unique enough to require specific treatment.