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Overeating vs Binge-Eating

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Understanding the Difference between Overeating and Binge Eating

We all tend to overeat food from time to time. Increased hunger, appealing taste, appearance, or consistency of some food may sometimes tempt us to eat one bite extra. However, overeating should not be confused with binge eating disorder (BED). Professionals confirm the diagnosis of BED based on the criteria elucidated by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Distinguishing between overeating and binge eating is a skillful and difficult task.

Following are some simple symptoms you must recognize that are specific to BED, and can help you understand if you are actually suffering from BED or simply overeating.

Overeating Vs Binge Eating


Binge Eating

Eating more than required food when extremely hungry or when the food is appealing in taste or consistency

Binge eaters have recurrent episodes of eating large amounts of food even when not hungry

Happens once in a while

Happens at least once a week in a three months time period

Can happen in public, during parties, with friends or even alone

Binge eaters usually prefer to eat alone out of embarrassment

People may overeat food during meals, enjoy it and share with friends

For binge eater, eating food is a private matter

People who overeat mainly do so, due to excessive hunger without any psychological reasons

Binge eaters mainly start binging due to psychological reasons, such as stress, depression, or sadness

People get a signal to stop eating when they are satisfied physically as well as mentally

Binge eaters eat food uncontrollably not knowing if they are full

People who overeat food may eat it slowly and may enjoy

Binge eaters eat large amount of food rapidly and in a hurry

People may feel good even after overeating some food

Binge eaters usually get a feeling of guilt and disgust after eating



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