When a person habitually eats unusually eats large amounts of food, it is not necessarily an eating disorder. Binge eating involves a loss of control along with excessive consumption of food. The disorder is also defined by the lack of purging, excessive exercise, or self-induced vomiting. There are no compensatory behaviors. The person does not engage in radical activities to remove the food from the body after over-eating.
Binge eating disorders (BED) are largely psychological in nature, according to the Eating Disorder Center of Denver. Nevertheless, it is associated with medical conditions that endanger a person’s life. Two of the usual medical co-morbidities of BED are cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes. It is therefore very important to find the most effective treatment approach for a person with BED.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Proponents of cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT support the restraint model of treatment for excessive eating with loss of control. This psychological treatment approach is supported by numerous studies. Many believe CBT is the treatment of choice.
The main objective of the approach is to disrupt the cycle of dieting and binging, which only fuels the dysfunctional eating pattern. The therapy promotes a healthier cycle, with the introduction of highly structured eating pattern. The therapy approach also promotes positive weight control behaviors. One of the key tenets of CBT is self-monitoring, which is believed to help change the person’s negative views of their own dieting-binging behaviors.
Some centers for eating disorders also support the concept that reduction of weight is as important as treatment approaches focusing on the psychological aspect of over-eating. The main concern of those who put weight loss intervention at the fore is obesity and its associated health risks. However, there is huge limitation to this approach mainly because by far, there is no proven effective management approach for obesity.
Some eating disorder treatment programs focus on just one approach, while others choose an integrated program. If someone close to you manifests with BED, do not hesitate to consult someone in authority for possible treatment options.