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Although we have been studying binge eating in overweight individuals for 20 years, it was only in 1994 that this problem was officially recognized as a specific clinical syndrome. Before I give you a test to see if you suffer from this problem, let's look at how overweight binge eaters differ from overweight people who do not binge. See how many of these characteristics apply to you.


If you are overweight and a binge eater there is a greater likelihood that you have been overweight since you were young. Most people with binge-eating disorder have been overweight since they were teenagers. About two-thirds of binge eaters developed a weight problem before age 18 with the remainder becoming overweight after this age.

Binge eaters have more weight to lose than those who do not binge. They are about 30 pounds more overweight than dieters who do not binge.