11 Signs of Binge Eating Disorders in Teens


So, your young teen is showing signs of distress? Are you worried that she may be suffering from a binge eating disorder? Binge eating disorder, can have a devastating effects on your young adult. It is therefore important for you to identify the signs of this disorder at its early stages and nip it at its bud. Listed below are a bunch of signs and symptoms that will help you understand if your child suffers from this disorder!

Binge eating disorder is a problem that appears most commonly among teenagers and young adults. This problem can occur in boys as well as girls. Although it is less common than other eating disorders, but can pose harmful effects on health.  Binge eating refers to a disorder that leads a person to eat large amounts of food, much more than what is required, in a single sitting. This further leads to problems like obesity and other related health issues including heart disease and diabetes.

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Causes of Binge Eating in Teenagers

The actual cause of binge eating disorder has not yet been ascertained by any research or study. Generally, people with binge eating disorders belong to families that indulge in overeating or put an unnatural emphasis on food. For instance, such families might use food as a reward or a way to comfort or soothe, thus leading to binge eating as a learned behavioral reaction to stress.

Adding further, binge eating disorder is also, sometimes, considered as an undesirable side effect of some specific psychiatric or other medications that can stimulate appetite and might also interfere with people being able to understand or sense that they are full even after eating a meal. However, till date is considered to result from a combination of behavioral, biological, and social factors on the whole.

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Signs of Binge Eating

Overeating is common among teens at times or even regularly. However, overeating occasionally doesn’t indicate a person to be involved in binge eating. Many people suffering from this disorder find eating to be soothing and comforting.

Here are the top 11 signs that indicate a teen to be indulged in binge eating. These can be, however, categorized into various sections, viz. Emotional, Behavioral and Mental, Psychological, and Physical Signs.

binge eating disorders

Behavioral Signs

Behavioral Signs of binge eating include signs and symptoms like:

1. Lack of Planned Meals

Lack of planned meals is the most common sign of binge eating. Eating all through the day with unplanned mealtimes indicates the person to be indulged in binge eating.

2. Wrappers say it all

Evidence of empty containers and wrappers indicate consumption of large amounts of food.


3. Frequent Eating

This refers to disappearance of large quantities of food in short phases of time. Besides, the speed of eating is also different from the normal eating speed.

Emotional and Mental Signs

The emotional and mental signs of binge eating include:

1. Low self-esteem

Binge eating disorder is also characterized by low self-esteem. Feelings of worthlessness, sadness, and shame precede and follow the binges directly.

2. Body-shaming

Any teenager with binge eating disorder feels dissatisfied with one’s body size. This further causes body shaming oneself.

Physical Signs

1. Weight Gain

Weight gain is another most obvious symptom of binge eating disorder. Indulging in binge eating is highlighted if your weight increases abruptly.  

2. Joint Pain

When you indulge in overeating or binge eating, the weight increases gradually. This increased weight is ought to be borne by your knees. However, besides the knee joint, other joints also get affected by the increase in muscle mass. Therefore, if your teen experiences joint pain with an abrupt increase in weight, chances are that he/she is suffering from binge eating disorder.


3. Abnormal Eating

Another symptom of binge eating disorder is the eating pattern. Generally, any person or teenager suffering from binge eating disorder is ought to be indulged in recurrent incidents of eating very large amounts of food in a single sitting.

Psychological Signs

1. Embarrassment

Embarrassment includes overwhelming feelings that you cannot control what you are eating and in what quantity.

2. Anxiety and Depression

Depression and anxiety are also associated with binge eating. Many teenagers find eating soothing and relaxing during tense situations or situations that involve anxiety or stress.

Read More: Anxiety Disorders in Teenagers: Signs and Symptoms

3. Distressed Feeling

People, especially teens, struggling with binge eating disorder usually express feelings of shame and distressed for being overweight or eating abnormally.

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