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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is compulsive eating a disorder?

    My son of 21 is a compulsive eater and obsesses over food, does this mean he has an eating disorder?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • The Butterfly Foundation was founded in August 2002 by Claire Vickery who found many ‘gaps’ in the public health system for those experiencing eating disorders. … View Profile


    Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is an eating disorder characterised by periods of recurrent binge eating without compensatory measures. People with BED often eat excessive amounts of food, even when they are full & not hungry. They feel an intense loss of control about their eating & regularly experiences feelings of guilt, depression, shame & disgust. This makes BED a mental illness with physical complications. People with BED always experience
    very low self‐esteem. People with BED often binge to distract themselves or avoid thinking about underlying emotional issues that are troubling them. BED can affect anyone, regardless
    of age, gender, or ethnicity.


    • Reaccurrent episodes of bingeing at least twice a week for six months
    • Frequent episodes of eating a large quantity of food in a short period of time (any two hour period)
    • Feeling a lack of control over eating during the binge episode (feeling you can’t stop eating)
    • Feeling ashamed or disgusted after overeating
    • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
    • Eating much more rapidly than usual
    • Eating alone due to embarrassment about how much is being eaten

    If you believe you or someone you know has an eating disorder, please seek professional assistance. The Butterfly Foundation has telephone & email support for eating disorder sufferers & their family & friends. This confidential & supportive counselling service is available on 1800 33 4673 or at

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