Diagnosing adults with binge eating disorder (B.E.D.)

Individuals with B.E.D.
must meet all of the following
diagnostic criteria*1:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating characterized by both consuming an abnormally large amount of food in a short period of time compared with what others might eat in the same amount of time under the same or similar circumstances and experiencing a loss of control over eating during the episode.
  • These episodes feature at least 3 of the following: consuming food faster than normal; consuming food until uncomfortably full; consuming large amounts of food when not hungry; consuming food alone due to embarrassment; feeling disgusted, depressed, or guilty after eating a large amount of food.
  • Overall, they feel significant distress about their binge eating.
  • Their binge eating episodes occur, on average, at least once per week for 3 months.
  • They do not show regular compensatory behavior associated with bulimia nervosa, nor do they binge eat solely during an episode of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.

Diagnosis should be based upon a complete evaluation of the patient that confirms the criteria for B.E.D.*1

*Adapted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5®).

  1. American Psychiatric Association. Binge-eating disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association; 2013:350-353.