Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

Some of the more common signs of binge eating disorder are:

Behavioural signs

  • Buying lots of food
  • Organising life around bingeing episodes
  • Hoarding food
  • Eating very rapidly
  • Eating when not hungry
  • Eating until uncomfortably full
  • Avoiding eating around others
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Irritability
  • Spending a lot or most of their time thinking about food
  • A sense of being out of control around food, or a loss of control over eating
  • Feeling anxious and tense, especially over eating in front of others
  • Low confidence and self-esteem
  • Feelings of shame and guilt after bingeing
  • Other mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Compromise of education and employment plans

Psychological signs

  • Spending a lot or most of their time thinking about food
  • A sense of being out of control around food, or a loss of control over eating
  • Feeling anxious and tense, especially over eating in front of others
  • Low confidence and self-esteem
  • Feelings of shame and guilt after bingeing
  • Other mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety

Physical signs

  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Weight gain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Other stomach problems
  • Poor skin condition

Possible long-term effects of binge eating disorder

Like any eating disorder, binge eating disorder can have long-term physical effects, some of which may be permanent. These include:

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Difficulty conceiving and infertility
  • Joint and back pain

Issue date: September 2017  Review date: September 2020 Version 2.0 Sources used to create this information are available by contacting Beat. We welcome your feedback on our information resources.