5 Of The Biggest Binge Eating Disorder Myths Busted

binge eating disorder myths

There’s a tendency to associate eating disorders with undernourishment or lack of food.

That plus a culture where thinner is generally seen as better has led to a few misconceptions and a few binge eating disorder myths, which I want to have a look at now.

Binge Eating Disorder Isn’t Real

So first up is the idea that binge eating disorder isn’t even a real thing.

Yes, we all do tend to overeat sometimes and indulge sometimes.

And that can lead to the point of feeling uncomfortably full. And it’s pretty common, particularly on special occasions.

But there is a difference between a one-off or a planned indulgence and binge eating disorder.

For someone with binge eating disorder, binges don’t just happen as one-offs or on special occasions. And they’re not really, pre-planned a lot of the time.

The person dealing with binge-eating disorder is constantly battling to keep control of their food intake. That can be an urge from once every few days to daily, to even multiple times a day.

Binge eating disorder was first clinically recognized as an eating disorder in 1994.

And then given recognition as a psychiatric condition in 2013. So it is very much real.

Binge Eating Disorder Only Affects Overweight People

There’s a conception that only overweight people get binge-eating there’s this idea that only overweight people get binge eating disorder.

It kind of ties in with the first thing I mentioned.

It’s common for people to assume that it’s an excuse “overweight” people use to not have to control their food intake. Or justification for why they can’t lose weight.

But me sitting here in a small t-shirt with a BMI of somewhere between 21 and 22, I can tell you binge eating disorder can affect anyone and is not dependent on weight.

Weight gain may be a side effect of it. In fact, it’s a pretty common side effect of it, but that doesn’t mean that’s what causes it.

It Only Affects Women

There’s also a bit of a conception around binge eating disorder, and to be fair eating disorders in general, that it’s something that only seems to affect women. That is very much not true.

I was probably a little bit too reliant on Google and Web MD when I came up with these stats. But there are some studies that suggest to up to one in three people that suffer from an eating disorder are male.

And also that a man is five times more likely to have binge eating disorder than any other eating disorder.

So not just binge eating disorder, but all eating disorders – there are a lot of us guys out there.

Binge Eating Disorder Is Rare

And then we look at the idea that binge eating disorder is rare. Part of it’s perpetrated by the fact that other eating disorders probably get more time, probably get more coverage, in media in general.

But binge eating disorder is estimated to have a prevalence of 1-3%

And according to Wikipedia, and I haven’t checked the source so don’t quote me on it, but according to the Wikipedia entry, it may also be the most prevalent eating disorder on the planet.

And the thing is that with eating disorders, the tendency is to assume it’s about restriction and starving yourself and not eating.

So binge-eating the sort of being the opposite of that, it’s common for people not to realize it’s even a thing.

I hadn’t even heard about binge eating disorder until I saw it in a documentary on TV.

Binge Eating Disorder Isn’t Dangerous

And lastly, there’s this idea that binge eating disorder isn’t as dangerous as other eating disorders.

Binge eating disorder is dangerous in a different way.

With most eating disorders. One of the major risks is that the undernourishment you’re giving your body can create long-term health consequences.

With binge eating disorder the likelihood of that happening is going to be lower because you are getting more volume of food. But again, that will depend on your overall diet.

But binge eating disorder also carries its own risks and hazards.

There are links to depression and anxiety.

Someone dealing with binge eating disorder may have difficulty navigating social situations because they’re struggling with being around a different environment and around different foods

That binge pattern and binge behaviour can lead down the road to substance abuse of other kinds.

And for those who are already battling a weight issue, it can increase the risk of heart disease, it can increase the risk of diabetes, and it can increase the risk of high blood pressure among a host of other cardiovascular issues.

binge eating disorder myths

5 Binge Eating Disorder Myths Busted

So there you have it. Five misconceptions or myths about binge eating disorder. Busted.