What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is an eating disorder where the individual will eat a significant amount of food over a limited period of time (known as bingeing). While bingeing is a feature of other eating disorders, those with BED will NOT take measures following a binge to prevent gaining weight.

BED is the most common eating disorder, accounting for 47% of eating disorder diagnoses. For a diagnosis of BED, an individual must binge at least once a week for a minimum period of three months.


binge eating disorder is a serious eating disorder and medical and mental health support is needed

An individual with BED may experience the following

  • Bingeing – eating a significant amount of food over a limited period of time, where the individual feels unable to stop
  • Guilt and shame around eating behaviours
  • Weight gain
  • Hiding food or eating alone
  • Hoarding food
  • Distress with their weight
  • Physical, cognitive and psychological effects




If you suspect your loved one has BED, it is important to encourage them to seek help early. Your loved one may avoid getting help. It is important to keep persevering.

Your loved one’s treatment team will decide on the best type of treatment, and whether they can be cared for at home or in hospital.

While your loved one has the greatest chance of recovery by getting into treatment early, recovery is possible at any stage.

Families and carers can help loved ones recover, so where possible, stay connected with your loved one and their treatment team.

For support in how to help your loved one, join a Carer Support Group.