When does overeating become binge eating? According to data from the Journal of the American Medical Association, 2 out of 3 US adults were overweight or obese (2009-2010). Additionally, many engage in overeating during the holidays, at a party or special occasion. However, this does not mean that 2/3rds of Americans are binge eating.  Understanding the difference between overeating and binge eating can help someone know when to seek professional mental health support.

Overeating due to a holiday, or special event happens occasionally.  People tend to be able to return to commonplace eating patterns afterwards.  When overeating begins to happy more often, and becomes much more common, then it is greater cause for concern.  So when has it crossed over to binge eating disorder?

Signs and symptoms of binge eating disorder (BED):

  • Eating much more rapidly than normal.
  • Feeling uncomfortably full.
  • Eating large amounts of food when there is no physical hunger.
  • Feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating.
  • Feeling disgust, depressed or very guilty with oneself after eating.
  • Eating a much larger amount of food than most people would eat, in a discrete period of time, in the same situation.
  • Feeling like you cannot stop eating or control how much you are eating, feeling out of control.


If you are concerned you may be suffering from binge eating disorder or have a loved one who you suspect may have binge eating disorder, please contact the Intake Department at Specialized Therapy Associates at 201.488.6678 for more information about our individual and group services.


Flegal KM, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Ogden CL. Prevalence of obesity and trends in the distribution of body mass index among US adults, 1999–2010. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2012; 307(5):491–97

For more information or to schedule an appointment, see our website www.specializedtherapy.com or call 201-488-6678