the binge-eating files » Binge eating

Binge eating articles and research related to obesity, addiction, the brain and mental health

A closer look at cannabis use and binge eating. Research found nearly a quarter of binge eating study participants have used cannabis in the past three months   ScienceDaily (Feb 13, 2024) – New research examined how often people experiencing binge eating are also using cannabis recreationally, and whether patients who use cannabis experience more severe eating disorder symptoms or symptoms of struggling with mental health. … more

Can’t stop binging on fries and BBQ?   ScienceDaily (Oct 16, 2023) – People overeat and become overweight for a variety of reasons. The fact that flavorful high-calorie food is often available nearly everywhere at any time doesn’t help. Researchers have determined for the first time why certain chemicals in cooked or processed foods, called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, increase hunger and test our willpower or ability to make healthy choices when it comes to food. … more

What Is Binge Eating? 5 Signs You May Have A Problem   StudyFinds (Oct 11,2023) by Shyla Cadogan, RD — We have all overeaten at some point. Sometimes, the pie at Thanksgiving is too good not to go back for seconds. However, binge eating is different. It’s a lot more serious than just eating a few more chips than you normally would. Binge eating disorder (BED) involves eating unusually large amounts of food and feeling like you can’t turn the switch off. … more

The Most Common Eating Disorder in the U.S. Is Also the Least Understood   New York Times (May 31, 2023) by Dani Blum — Binge eating disorder entered the diagnostic manual on mental health conditions 10 years ago. It’s still getting overlooked. … more

‘Why don’t you just stop?’: living with Australia’s most common eating disorder.   The Guardian (Feb 26, 2022) by Manuela Callari — Since Sam Ikin was a child his urge to devour food was out of his control. He didn’t want to be fat. “I wanted to look good. But the more I deprived myself of something, the more I craved it,” he says. … “You’re not conscious of the quantity that you’re eating, you just want to keep eating. And then once you finish what’s in front of you, you start thinking about what else there is,” he says. He would “come out of it” when he had run out of food, get interrupted or because he had got to the point where he simply could not eat any more. … more

Richard Osman reveals ‘difficult journey’ with food addiction: ‘Pointless’ presenter opens up on lifelong affliction, saying at times it had left him feeling ‘directionless’    The Guardian (Dec 26, 2021) — The Pointless presenter Richard Osman has revealed he suffers from a lifelong food addiction, but is endeavouring to destigmatise the shame surrounding the affliction. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Osman told about the “difficult journey” his addictive behaviour had led him on. He said: “There hasn’t been a day of my life since the age of nine where I haven’t thought about problems with food and how it affects me. … more

“Out of Control” Holiday Eating Could Be a Subjective Binge: A common but rarely discussed phenomenon in non-clinical and clinical samples.   Psychology Today (Nov 23, 2021) by Alli Spotts-De Lazzer  – Just in time for the 2021 holiday season, a new study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders on November 11, 2021, provides in-depth, data-driven feedback on subjective binge episodes. “Lived experiences of subjective binge eating: An inductive thematic analysis” expands our understanding of this binge type. … more

Evidence of behavioral, biological similarities between compulsive overeating and addiction   ScienceDaily (Oct 17, 2019) – Does yo-yo dieting drive compulsive eating? There may be a connection. According to researchers the chronic cyclic pattern of overeating followed by undereating, reduces the brain’s ability to feel reward and may drive compulsive eating. This finding suggests that future research into treatment of compulsive eating behavior should focus on rebalancing the mesolimbic dopamine system — the part of the brain responsible for feeling reward or pleasure.  … more

Insulin Resistance and Binge Eating    Gurze Salucor (July 5, 2020) by Amy Enright, RD – … What if our binge eating clients are eating intuitively, what if they are listening to their bodies, and what if their bodies are giving them the wrong messages about hunger and fullness?  This is something we need to further explore. … Insulin resistance is on the rise. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2003-2006, 1/3 of all men and women have Metabolic syndrome. … An insulin resistant body presents as an underfed body, because it is not able to use the nutrients it is being given. If we review the common symptoms of binge eaters: rarely full, craving carbohydrates, fatigue, mood disruptions, in addition to the metabolic co-morbidities, they often fit the profile of an insulin resistant patient. Could our binge eating clients really be listening to their hunger cues and trying to give their body’s what they are asking for, and their body’s just aren’t using the nutrients? … more

BED and Food Addiction  Eating Disorders Review (Vol.30/No.1) – It’s unclear how binge eating disorder (BED) and the newer concept of food addiction are related. BED is very commonly assessed by eating disorder professionals; food addiction, somewhat less often. A new tool, the Yale Food Addiction Scale, has been developed to assess for food addiction (Gearhardt and colleagues, 2011). This scale measures addictive qualities of eating behavior. It was recently revised to become the YFAS 2.0, adjusted for changes to the diagnostic criteria from DSM 5. … more

Binge eating and smoking linked to bullying and sexual abuse  ScienceDaily (Jan 11, 2019) – People who ever suffered bullying or sexual abuse have a lower quality of life similar to those living with chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, depression or severe anxiety, a new study has found. They are also far more likely to display harmful behaviours like smoking dependence and binge eating. … more

More Clues to Binge Eating Emerge  Eating Disorders Review (Vol 29/No. 5) – Orexin neurons, a small group of cells in the hypothalamus, appear to be a promising target for medications for controlling binge-eating episodes in individuals with obesity, according to scientists at the Brain Health Institute at Rutgers University and the State University of New Jersey. These neurons have previously been shown to be important for addiction to drugs such as cocaine. … more

Could this study explain the mechanism behind binge eating?   MNT Medical News Today (Apr 11, 2018) by Maria Cohut – Binge eating is closely linked to obesity; it establishes a vicious cycle of unhealthful diet-related habits. What is the mechanism behind binge eating, though? A new study conducted in mice might bring us a step closer to answering this question. … more

Binge Eating at Night? Your Hormones May Be to Blame   New York Times (Jan 30, 2018) by Roni Caryn Rabin – Most dieters know the hard truth: Sticking to a weight loss regimen gets more difficult as the day wears on. But while those who give in to food cravings and binge at night may blame flagging willpower, a new study suggests the problem could lie in the complex orchestra of hormones that drive hunger and signal feelings of satiety, or fullness…. more

Childhood binge eating: Families, feeding, and feelings  ScienceDaily (June 28, 2016) – In order to put childhood binge eating into context, a new systematic review identifies two potential risk factors for binge eating in children under the age of 12. With family being the most proximal and influential setting affecting behaviors and attitudes in children, the study reports that parental non-involvement or emotional unresponsiveness and weight-related teasing in the family are behaviors consistently associated with childhood binge eating. … more

Overeating may cause more eating by cutting off fullness signal   Medical News Today (June 16, 2016) by Catharine Paddock – Overeating can lead to more eating, setting up a vicious cycle that promotes obesity. Now, a new study suggests one way this cycle works is that when the gut senses too many calories, it shuts off a hormone that tells the brain we are full. The new study suggests that when we eat too many calories, our gut stops producing a hormone that tells the brain we are full. In the journal Nutrition & Diabetes, researchers at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, describe how they came to this conclusion after observing mice on high-calorie diets. … more

Binge Eating and Impulsivity   Gurze-Salucore Eating Disorders Catalogue (June 1, 2017) by Dr. Cari Pearson Carter – Binge eating, which involves consuming an unambiguously large amount of food while feeling a sense of loss of control (American Psychiatric Association, APA, 2013), occurs across eating disorders … A useful way to understand the development of eating disorders is that initial binge eating is typically considered an impulsive or rash act. … more

Binge eating trigger point located deep inside brain  MNT Medical News Today (June 1, 2016) by Catharine Paddock – Scientists  believe they have located a point deep in the brain that links an external trigger to binge-eating or drug-seeking behavior. They found when they switched off certain brain cells in that location, rats that had once responded excitedly and speedily to cues for sugar – much like binge-eating – responded with less motivation and urgency. The finding could lead to new ways to help people reduce addictive behavior, they suggest. … more

Novel Drug Shows Promise for Binge Eating Disorder   Medscape (May 31, 2017) by Pauline Anderson –  A novel dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor is showing promise in patients with binge eating disorder (BED). Patients taking dasotraline had significantly fewer episodes of binge eating compared to those taking a placebo, a new phase 2/3 clinical trial showed. … more

Prenatal stress predisposes female mice to binge eating  ScienceDaily (May 30, 2017) – Stress changes our eating habits, but the mechanism may not be purely psychological, research in mice suggests. A study has found that stressed mouse mothers were more likely to give birth to pups that would go on to exhibit binge-eating-like behavior later in life. The pups from stressed mothers shared epigenetic tags on their DNA, but these markers only made a difference when the researchers put the young offspring into a stressful situation. … more

A flip switch for binge-eating?  ScienceDaily (May 25, 2017) – Researchers have identified a subgroup of neurons in the mouse brain that, upon activation, immediately prompt binge-like eating. Furthermore, repeated stimulation of these neurons over time caused the mice to gain weight. The zona incerta (ZI) is a relatively understudied part of the brain. … more

Eating healthily during the week but bingeing on weekends is not OK for your gut: no more cheat days. (Jan 25, 2016) by Margaret Morris – A relatively healthy but complex community is living together peacefully, until an unruly mob of hooligans begins unsettling the community’s residents and disturbing the peace every weekend. This scenario could be playing out in the human gut every time you go on a junk food binge. Yo-yoing between eating well during the week and bingeing on junk food over the weekend is likely to be just as bad for your gut health as a consistent diet of junk.Our study, recently published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, examined the impact of yo-yo dieting on the gut microbiota (the mix of organisms) of rats. This was the first study to compare how continuous or irregular exposure to an unhealthy diet can impact the composition of the gut microbiota. … more

Overeating caused by a hormone deficiency in brain? Study finds absence of peptide linked to preference for fatty food, eating for pleasure rather than hunger  ScienceDaily (July 23, 2015) – When hormone glucagon like peptide-1 was reduced in the central nervous system of laboratory mice, they overate and consumed more high fat food, scientists have found. Although this is not the only reason why people overeat, the study provides new evidence that targeting neurons in the mesolimbic dopamine system — a reward circuit in the brain — rather than targeting the whole body might be a better way to control overeating and obesity with fewer side effects. more …

‘Bad’ genes lead teens to binge-eating   ScienceDaily (July 22, 2015) – Binge-eating in teenagers may be linked to a gene variation, according to new research from the University of Queensland. The UQ Diamantina Institute’s Professor David Evans and a University College London Institute of Child Health team have analysed data from 6000 adolescents aged 14 and 16 and found that genetic variations associated with obesity risk could also predict binge-eating. more …

Doctors Are Prescribing Amphetamines for Binge Eating. What could go wrong? Mother Jones (July 6, 2015) by Julia Lurie –You may have recently seen a TV ad about the “most common eating disorder in US adults”: Binge Eating Disorder. The spot features champion tennis player Monica Seles talking about her struggles with BED, which was classified by the American Psychiatric Association as a medical condition in 2013 … [a] website and the ad campaign are paid for by Shire, a pharmaceutical company that, in January, won FDA approval to market a drug called Vyvanse to treat BED. Vyvanse is a Schedule II federally controlled substance—meaning that it’s acceptable for medical use but has high potential for abuse—and it’s the only drug that the Food and Drug Administration has approved for BED.. more …

Is binge eating related to personality traits?  Medical News Today (Apr 15, 2014) — Obesity and binge eating disorder (BED) are prevalent conditions that severely affect the quality of life of many people in developed countries, but an effective treatment remains elusive.   Personality traits have been studied extensively in this population, leading to different, and at times conflicting, results. Subtyping BED people along these features could add to our knowledge of the disorder.   more …

New treatments for binge eating, how our diet impacts brain function, and the connection between marijuana and obesity   Medical News Today (Nov 14, 2013) – A growing body of evidence shows the impact of diet on brain function, and identifies patterns of brain activity associated with eating disorders such as binge eating and purging. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2013, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.   Link

Scientists identify brain circuitry that triggers overeating  ScienceDaily (Sept 26, 2013) Sixty years ago scientists could electrically stimulate a region of a mouse’s brain causing the mouse to eat, whether hungry or not. Now researchers from UNC School of Medicine have pinpointed the precise cellular connections responsible for triggering that behavior. The finding, published September 27 in the journal Science, lends insight into a cause for obesity and could lead to treatments for anorexia, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder — the most prevalent eating disorder in the United States.   Link

Binge eating more likely to lead to health risks in men  Science Daily (Sept 17, 2013) – Binge eating is a problem affecting both men and women, however obese men who binge are more likely than their female counterparts to have elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry. Link

The biology behind binge eating   ScienceDaily (May 1, 2013) — Female rats are much more likely to binge eat than male rats, according to new research that provides some of the strongest evidence yet that biology plays a role in eating disorders.   The study, by Michigan State University scientists, is the first to establish sex differences in rates of binge eating in animals and has implications for humans. Binge eating is one of the core symptoms of most eating disorders, including bulimia nervosa and the binge/purge subtype of anorexia nervosa, and females are four to 10 times more likely than males to have an eating disorder.   Link

Binge eating may represent a sub-type of obesity most closely related to drug addiction   Medical News Today (Apr. 24, 2013) – Addiction is the continued or compulsive use of a substance, despite negative and/or harmful consequences. Over the years, addiction has come to be re-defined to include behaviors, as well as substances, and the term is now used to describe significant problems with alcohol, nicotine, drugs, gambling, internet use, and sex. The ‘major’ addictions, like alcoholism and drug abuse, stimulate significant amounts of research and are now largely well characterized, but others, like pathological gambling and internet addiction, are much less understood.   Link

Binge eating curbed by deep brain stimulation in animal model   ScienceDaily (Apr. 23, 2013)— Deep brain stimulation (DBS) in a precise region of the brain appears to reduce caloric intake and prompt weight loss in obese animal models, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. The study, reported in the Journal of Neuroscience, reinforces the involvement of dopamine deficits in increasing obesity-related behaviors such as binge eating, and demonstrates that DBS can reverse this response via activation of the dopamine type-2 receptor.   Link

Impact of portion size on overeating is hard to overcome   ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2013) — People given large servings of food eat more than those given smaller servings, even after they have been taught about the impact of portion size on consumption, research from the University of New South Wales shows.  Learning how to engage in mindful — rather than mindless — eating also did not decrease food intake by a significant amount in those given large servings.   Link

Revealing the scientific secrets of why people can’t stop after eating one potato chip   ScienceDaily (Apr. 11, 2013) — The scientific secrets underpinning that awful reality about potato chips — eat one and you’re apt to scarf ’em all down — began coming out of the bag today in research presented at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society…the results shed light on the causes of a condition called “hedonic hyperphagia” that plagues hundreds of millions of people around the world.  “That’s the scientific term for ‘eating to excess for pleasure, rather than hunger…recreational over-eating that may occur in almost everyone at some time in life. And the chronic form is a key factor in the epidemic of overweight and obesity that here in the United States threatens health problems for two out of every three people.”   Link

Brain pathway identified that triggers impulsive eating     Medical News Today (Mar. 4, 2013) – New research from the University of Georgia has identified the neural pathways in an insect brain tied to eating for pleasure, a discovery that sheds light on mirror impulsive eating pathways in the human brain.   Link

Secretive food concocting: New characteristic of binge eating identified   ScienceDaily (Jan. 3, 2013) — A study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) suggests food concocting — the making of strange food mixtures like mashed potatoes and Oreo cookies, frozen vegetables mixed with mayonnaise, and chips with lemon, pork rinds, Italian dressing and salt — is common among binge eaters. The findings, available online and to be published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, reveal that 1 in 4 survey participants secretly create concoctions.   Link

Binge eating improves with deep brain stimulation surgery    ScienceDaily (June 25, 2012) — Deep brain stimulation reduces binge eating in mice, suggesting that this surgery, which is approved for treatment of certain neurologic and psychiatric disorders, may also be an effective therapy for obesity. Presentation of the results took place June 25 at The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting in Houston.  Link

Beyond anorexia, bulimia: Lesser known eating disorders  Health on Today (Apr. 17, 2012) by Jenny Deam – For decades, the eating disorder lexicon had two main entries: anorexia and bulimia. But modern research reveals that these fall woefully short of encompassing the many facets of disordered eating… The new disorder: binge eating.  What it is: compulsive overeating, often to deal with negative emotions or stress.  Binge eaters consume large amounts of food very quickly, until they’re uncomfortably full.  Link

Learning about binge eating disorder   Huffpost Healthy Living (Apr. 5 2012) by Susan Albers – Do you want to know more about binge eating disorder? Professionals from all across the country recently met at a national convention to discuss research and treatment. I got the opportunity to interview Marsha Hudnall, the chairperson of the conference.  Link

Got a sweet tooth? Here are some tips on how to conquer it   National Post  (Mar. 30, 2012) – Whether you are struggling with bingeing or are simply wondering how best to manage cravings for junk food, you have choices.  Link

Binge eating a hidden problem among men   NBC  (Oct. 31, 2011) by Linda Carroll – People tend to notice when women binge on food — men, not so much. And that may explain why many people think that binge eating is just a women’s eating disorder.  But men are almost as likely as women to lose control in the presence of food and to suffer ill health because of their bingeing, a new study shows.   Link

Study shows why underrepresented men should be included in binge eating research  ScienceDaily (Oct. 26, 2011) — Binge eating is a disorder which affects both men and women, yet men remain underrepresented in research. A new study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders has found that the medical impact of the disorder is just as damaging to men as it is to women, yet research has shown that the number of men seeking treatment is far lower than the estimated number of sufferers.   Link

Get the skinny on shut-eye:  Lack of sleep actually increases appetite and drives people to binge on unhealthy foods (Sept. 15, 2011) by Kate Lunau – Over 13 million Canadians are overweight or obese, but for those trying to shed pounds, giving up on a full night’s sleep for a 5 a.m. gym session might do more harm than good. Lack of sleep actually increases appetite and drives people to binge on unhealthy “comfort foods,” according to Dr. Charles Samuels, medical director of the Calgary-based Centre for Sleep and Human Performance.  Link

Binge eaters’ dopamine levels spike at sight, smell of food   ScienceDaily (Feb. 28, 2011) — A brain imaging study at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory reveals a subtle difference between ordinary obese subjects and those who compulsively overeat, or binge: In binge eaters but not ordinary obese subjects, the mere sight or smell of favorite foods triggers a spike in dopamine — a brain chemical linked to reward and motivation.   Link

Junk food addiction may be clue to obesity: study   Reuters (Mar. 28, 2010) by JoAnne Allen, Reuters – Bingeing on high-calorie foods may be as addictive as cocaine or nicotine, and could cause compulsive eating and obesity, according to a study published on Sunday. The findings in a study of animals cannot be directly applied to human obesity, but may help in understanding the condition and in developing therapies to treat it, researchers wrote Sunday in the journal Nature Neuroscience.   Link

Rats with part of brain deactivated move toward food but do not eat    ScienceDaily (Sep. 9, 2009) — Scientists led a rat to the fatty food, but they couldn’t make it eat. Using an animal model of binge eating, University of Missouri researchers discovered that deactivating the basolateral amygdala, a brain region involved in regulating emotion, specifically blocked consumption of a fatty diet. Surprisingly, it had no effect on the rat wanting to look for the food repeatedly. “It appears that two different brain circuits control the motivation to seek and consume,” said Matthew Will, assistant professor of psychological sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science and investigator in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center.  Link

High-fat, high-sugar foods alter brain receptors    ScienceDaily (Aug. 6, 2009) — Overconsumption of fatty, sugary foods leads to changes in brain receptors, according to new animal research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  The new research results are being presented at the 2009 annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB). The results have implications for understanding bulimia and other binge eating disorders.  Link

When eating disorders strike in midlife   New York Times: Health (July 13, 2009) by Randi Hutter Epstein —  No one has precise statistics on who is affected by eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia, often marked by severe weight loss, or binge eating, which can lead to obesity. But experts say that in the past 10 years they are treating an increasing number of women over 30 who are starving themselves, abusing laxatives, exercising to dangerous extremes and engaging in all of the self-destructive activities that had, for so long, been considered teenage behaviors.  Link

Binge eating: when perfection unravels  ScienceDaily (Apr. 20, 2009) — In everyday life, someone who takes a perfectionist’s approach to activities might be admired or even rewarded with a pat on the back.  These attitudes are tied to a commonly held, but mistaken, belief that perfectionism will ultimately produce achievement and social success. But a psychologist warns that perfectionism is not a healthy, or even effective, approach to life’s challenges.  Link

Survey puts new focus on binge eating as a diagnosis   New York Times (Feb 13, 2009), by Nicholas Bakalar — Binge eating is not yet officially classified as a psychiatric disorder. But it may be more common than the two eating disorders now recognized, anorexia nervosa and bulimia.  The first nationally representative study of eating disorders in the United States, a nationwide survey of more than 2,900 men and women, was published by Harvard researchers in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry. It found prevalence in the general population of 0.6 percent for anorexia, 1 percent for bulimia and 2.8 percent for binge-eating disorder.  Link

Risk factors for development of eating disorders examined  ScienceDaily (June 2, 2008) — Risk factors for binge eating and purging may vary between boys and girls and by age group in girls, according to a new report.  Link

Monkey diets offer new clue on binge eating:  Monkeys under stress more likely to binge on banana chips   ABC news (May 21, 2008) by Sharyn Alfonsi, Kiran Khalid and Stephanie Dahle  — Many believe the worst day at work can be curbed by inhaling a big tub of ice cream, but now scientists have found new evidence suggesting that bingeing isn’t our fault — it’s biology.    Link

Binge eating more common than other eating disorders, survey finds  ScienceDaily (Feb. 4, 2007) — The first national survey of individuals with eating disorders shows that binge eating disorder is more prevalent than either anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital, also calls binge eating disorder a “major public health burden” because of its direct link to severe obesity and other serious health effects.  Link

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