Compulsive eating (also called binge-eating disorder) is the most common eating disorder in the United States. It affects men and women of all ages, decreasing their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. It goes goes beyond the simple overuse of food as a response to hunger.
A compulsive eater feels an almost constant, uncontrollable urge to eat, whether they’re hungry or not. Eating becomes a way to cope with intense emotions and feelings of psychological emptiness rather than to provide fuel for the body’s needs.
However, unlike the bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa, compulsive eating does not involve attempts to balance the excessive food intake with vomiting, starvation or other methods of caloric reduction.