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Binge eating: an emotional problem

We all tend to over eat every once in a while and many feel like they eat more than they should.Children also get hungry a lot, especially during their teens and tend to gorge on food. This is because their body requires extra nutrition during muscle and bone growth. These are natural conditions and need not be worried about.
However, you should be concerned, if you or your child suffers from binge eating. Binge eating is different from normal appetite increases or overeating from time to time. It involves more than just eating a lot. It’s an eating disorder that causes people to frequently eat large amounts of food while feeling a loss of control over their eating. They consume quickly and don’t stop eating even when they become full. That’s why binge eating is also called compulsive overeating.

The actual causes of binge eating disorder are still unknown. Up to half of all people with binge eating disorder have a history of depression. Whether depression is a cause or effect of binge eating disorder is unclear. People with a binge eating problem may overeat when they feel stressed, upset, hurt, or angry and find comfort in eating, but are likely to feel guilty and sad about the out-of-control eating. Binge eating is often a mixed-up way of dealing with or avoiding difficult emotions.

Unhealthy eating behaviors learned during childhood may develop into binge eating. Some households may overuse food as a way to soothe or comfort. The kids may grow up with a habit of overeating to soothe them selves to quiet their emotions because they may not have learned healthier ways to deal with stress.

Binge eating is something to worry about as it can lead to several problems such as weight gain, unhealthy dieting, and emotional problems. Most of the people who binge eat are over eat are overweight or obese. Concerns about weight gain may lead them to go on extreme diets that they can’t stick to. Binge eating can leave a person feeling helpless, hopeless, and depressed. These painful feelings may make the binge eating worse if the person turns to food as a way of dealing with such feelings.

Depending on what's behind someone's binge eating, doctors may prescribe medications along with therapy and nutrition advice. Since binge eating is more of an emotional problem, and binge eaters may feel too embarrassed to get help, you should show your concern and support to help a friend or family member to seek help.


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