Binge Eating: Diagnosis

For a child to be diagnosed with binge eating disorder, she must repeatedly eat unusually large amounts of food in relatively short periods of time, and feel that those fixed periods of intense eating are beyond his or her control. To qualify for the disorder, at least three of the following factors must be present in a child’s behavior: eating rapidly, eating to the point of uncomfortable fullness, eating when not hungry, eating in shame or in secret, and feeling disgusted, depressed or ashamed after eating. The behavior must occur at least twice a week for a period of six months. It does not, like bulimia, involve self-induced vomiting after overeating.