Fact Vs. Fiction: The Truth About Binge Eating

Binge eating is the most common eating disorder, but there are still many misconceptions surrounding it. To clarify, we will dispel certain myths concerning this condition in this article.

Binge Eating Disorder Is Rare

As we mentioned earlier, binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder in the U.S. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an estimated 1.2 percent of adults suffer from BED, while 0.6 percent have anorexia nervosa, and 0.3 percent have bulimia nervosa.

All You Need to Stop Binge Eating Disorder Is Willpower

The most effective methods for treating BED include psychotherapy (talk therapy) and counseling with a registered dietitian nutritionist to help develop eating patterns that help with recovery. You can also try prescription medications such as lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse).

Binge Eating and Overeating Are the Same Thing

Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition, said binge eating involves an impulse to eat that nags at BED patients even when there’s no food around or won’t have a meal break for hours. DSM-5 also said binge eating is correctly diagnosed as having an episode at least one day a week for three months.

Dieting and Weight Loss Can Cure Binge Eating Disorder

As mentioned earlier, the best treatment options for BED are a combination of psychotherapy, dietary counseling, and medication.

Binge Eating Disorder Only Affects People With Obesity

Jason Nagata, MD, a pediatrician specializing in eating disorders, said many people with BED are not overweight or obese. Research also suggests that 13 percent of people with BED don’t have obesity.

Binge Eating Doesn’t Have Lasting Consequences

The Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, untreated BED can result in long-term health effects such as weight gain, type 2 diabetes, weight gain and obesity, heart disease, and mood disorders such as depression.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) also pointed out that people with BED can develop digestive issues, sleep problems, and joint and muscle pain.

Only Adults Can Have Binge Eating Disorder

According to a study of more than 10,000 United States youths ages 9 to 14, 6.6 percent of them reported at least some behaviors typical of BED, while 1.7 percent had received this diagnosis within 2 years after the study.


Binge eating can lead to weight gain and other health complications. By dispelling the myths in this article, affected persons can start getting the right treatment for this condition.