What is an eating disorder? Eating disorders are related to unnatural eating habits, as a result of which the mental, physical and physiological health of the affected people suffers. Unnatural eating habits do not only mean eating insufficient or excessive amounts of food, but also other unhealthy habits, such as a distorted view of body shape and size, physical activity and wrong focus. The most commonly affected disorders in this group are bulimia and anorexia nervosa. But in this group, life-threatening disorder is also overeating or so-called hyperphagia.


However, overeating as an eating disorder is not talked about very often and in most cases goes unnoticed. Overeating is close to bulimia, but it lacks “artificially induced relief from food intake.” In most cases, uncontrolled overeating can be seen as “emotional eating”, as it often occurs in order to cope with failure, a bad day, negative emotions and experiences, etc. In this way, the “gap” opened by the causes and “culprits” listed above is filled. According to the American Psychiatric Association, overeating as an eating disorder is: “Recurrent episodes of eating significantly more food in a short period of time than most people would eat in similar circumstances, with episodes of lack of control. Someone with an overeating disorder can eat just as fast, even when he or she is not hungry. The person may have feelings of guilt, embarrassment or disgust and may overeat on their own to hide their behavior. This disorder is associated with severe distress and occurs at least once a week on average for three months.”


Psychological and physical consequences for health as a result of regular and uncontrolled overeating:


Depression: In some cases, it can even lead to suicide. Other mood disorders are also more likely to develop (stress, anxiety disorder, etc.);

Fear of disclosure: Most people with this eating disorder make sure there are no people around them when they overeat. The reason is not only that they are afraid of being discovered, but they also feel guilty, ashamed and even disgusted with themselves every time they indulge in uncontrolled eating. Sometimes fear and guilt turn into paranoia.

Loss of control and helplessness;

Feelings of hopelessness: often, after another episode of loss of control and uncontrollable eating, comes the feeling of hopelessness. It means that these episodes will never end and there is no hope that things will return to “normal”;

Anxiety, worry, self-doubt, low self-esteem: people with eating disorders find it difficult to accept themselves and their way of life and as a result, they often shut themselves in and isolate themselves from others.

Stomach pain: People with this eating disorder eat a large amount of food for a short time. This causes serious discomfort;

Obesity: With obesity come many other problems that are seriously detrimental to health in the long run. Examples of such consequences are: high blood pressure, skin problems, sleep problems, constipation, diabetes, kidney problems, high cholesterol, irregular menstruation in women, disturbances in normal hormone levels and others.

The important thing, however, is that this eating disorder can also be treated, as long as you seek help. It doesn’t matter if you or your loved one has this problem, you just need to know that you are not alone. It is not a shame to admit that there is a problem. This is the first step towards successfully overcoming the obstacle. Treatment may focus on the behavior of overeating itself, overweight, body image and perception, mental health problems, or a combination of these.