While everyone overeats once in a while, if you find yourself overeating at least once a week for at least three months, you may have binge eating disorder (BED). Binge eating is defined by two characteristics: eating an unusually large quantity of food during a short time period (two hours) and feeling a lack of control during each episode of overeating.
Unlike other eating disorders, BED is not necessarily associated with inappropriate weight control behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse, excessive exercise, or extreme dieting or food restriction.
BED affects almost 3 percent of adults in the United States. Population studies in the U.S. and around the world have found that more people struggle with BED than with the two other formal eating disorders (bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa) combined.