Science of Binge Eating: Why You Can’t Stop

  • Topic Info:It happens to you more often than you are willing to admit. You're unsatisfied after you've already eaten a personal sized pizza, so you reach for chips, candy, ice cream, or anything that's in your sight.

    After you come out of your food coma, with a haze of dancing sugarplums, you're confused and are unaware of what just happened. You're not alone; many people overeat. But when does binge eating become an issue?

    If you're scheduling time to let yourself binge, or you binge eating in private, you should ask yourself why you are doing so.

    Binge eating is the most common eating disorder in adults, characterized by isolation, anxiety, stress and feelings of powerlessness.

    There are many factors that play a role in binge eating, such as chemical, psychological, and social settings. For example, when you overeat and before your immediate feelings of regret, your brain releases a chemical, dopamine, which controls the reward and pleasure center in your brain.

    Associate Research Director for the Center of Excellence in Eating Disorders, Dr. Stephanie Zerwas, explains the science of binge eating and discusses when you should consult a doctor.
  • Host: Melanie Cole, MS