It's not hard for most people to justify why they don't have an eating disorder.
“Eating in general is a very comforting thing,” said Relevé Counseling Therapist, Alex Gonzalez.
There’s also no such thing as a "healthy" binge eating episode.
“If you ate the salad bar at a restaurant… it’s still... eating to the point of being uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter what the food is or the justification. You’re still eating too much of it to the point of pain, discomfort, and the frequency of it.”
Even for those whose binge eating doesn’t show up on the weight scale, it can show up another way.
“If you see spikes in your grocery bill and you have to constantly replace the food that’s in your house, that is another potential sign to look out for.”
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, nearly 3 million Americans have binge eating disorder. More than half of those cases are women. Teenagers can be at risk as well. The NEDA also says those with a binge eating disorder can become very good at hiding it.
“If you’re dealing with a child with binge eating, you’re going to notice that food of choice is gone and very quickly. Usually, it’s like an overnight sort of a thing. It’ll be there one minute and the next day it’s gone.”
Eating disorders often have a mental health component to go with it. If you believe a loved one is suffering from binge eating disorder, try to have an honest discussion with that person, encourage them, and offer to find them support.
“It does take time but it can be dealt with.”