The diagnostic criteria for Binge Eating Disorder (BED) are modeled after those for bulimia, but without compensatory behaviors or a preoccupation with weight and shape. Additionally, the binge eating episodes are more defined for BED, including some, but not necessarily all, of the following: eating rapidly, eating when not physically hungry or until uncomfortably full, eating alone due to being embarrassed about how much is eaten, and feelings of self-disgust, depression, and guilt after a binge. These behaviors are all common amongst those with bulimia, but they are not included in that clinical diagnosis. Similarly, most binge eaters dislike their bodies even though that’s not a criterion of BED.
Purging is the main difference between these two eating disorders, which otherwise share few differences. Much more common than the other eating disorders, BED includes a higher percentage of men, with Hudson showing 57% of cases being males. Also, BED does not have a weight criterion and should not be confused with obesity, which is a medical condition rather than an eating disorder. For example, obesity can be caused by excessive cortisol or abnormal hormones, not just by overeating.