Archive for the ‘Binge-Eating Disorder’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Why are kids overeating?

Binge-eating disorder is a very common problem among children and teenagers.  However, it is not an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) although in my opinion it should be.  Binge-eating disorder is simply when a person eats a very large amount of food at none time and this occurs two days a week for a period of at least six months.  The child or teenager that is binge eating usually are eating thousands of calories at a time and these are teens that usually have a history of weight problems. 

Bingeing episodes have these qualities:

1.) When a person eats alone because they are humiliated or embarrassed

2.)When they eat until they feel very uncomfortable

3.) They eat much faster than they normally would

4.) Eating when they do not feel hungry

5.) Feelings of disgust, humiliation, or guilt after the binge-eating episode

With all that said, what would cause a child or teenager to binge eat?  Current research believes that the main reason that children or teenagers binge eat is to help calm themselves down or to self-soothe.  It is thought that stress as well as negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, and guilt are the major contributing factors to binge eating. 

The signs of binge-eating are:

When kids or teens start to miss school or events so they are able to stay home and eat.  When they eat, they usually do so in their room with the door locked and they hide food that they have taken from the kitchen in their rooms, usually under the bed.  Watch for eating episodes after a meal is finished as well as their eating large amounts of food that is uncharacteristic for them. 

Binge-eating disorder is usually treated with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and medications are not usually the recommended treatment for binge-eating disorder.  The goal of psychological treatment is to help the teenager recognize the thoughts and feelings that are causing them to binge eat and help them with strategies to help reduce and eventually extinguish the binge eating episodes.