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Compulsive Eating Support Groups increase

December 15th, 2005

Binge-eating disorder is more prevalent than anorexia or bulimia, according to the National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders. A study by the American Psychiatric Association in 2000 suggested between 0.7 percent and 4 percent of the population suffered from the disorder, but researchers believe the actual figure is much higher.

ABC News recently ran a piece on the growth in support organizations for compulsive eaters:

“Not all overeaters are obese, and not all obese people are overeaters” …The only uniting characteristic is an overwhelming preoccupation with food

The behavior of compulsive overeaters is distinct from the average person who might indulge in normal “emotional eating” like curling up with a carton of ice cream after a breakup or taking comfort in macaroni-and-cheese on a blue day.

Those in the throes of a binge feel they cannot stop and they eat until they are physically uncomfortable, according to Overeaters Anonymous.

Some warning signs mentioned in the article:

  • Cruising from store to store to hoard tubs of ice cream and bags of cookies to consume in a single sitting.
  • Racking up debt from buying food.
  • Letting food take precedence over personal relationships and work.

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