Compulsive Overeating

Often referred to as a food addiction, compulsive over eaters often use food to cope with daily stresses or to hide from their emotions. Compulsive Overeating is often a response to a negative or stressful situation, but is followed by guilt, shame, and disgust, creating a vicious cycle. Compulsive overeaters can fall into two patterns; those that binge, and those that eat all day. Most compulsive overeaters are overweight.

Most compulsive overeaters know their eating habits are abnormal. Most feel victimized by society's tendency to stereotype overweight people. Compulsive overeating is their coping mechanism, so it is often difficult for them to seek help to abolish this behavior. Some behaviors to watch for are as follows:

  • Rapid weight gain
  • Excessive consumption of food
  • Eating when angry, hurt, or upset
  • Buying large amounts of food

If you suspect a family member or someone you know of Compulsive Overeating you should encourage them to see an eating disorder specialist. As with most eating disorders, you will probably encounter resistance, anger, and denial.

Medical Risks:

  • Acid Reflux
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Heartburn
  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Obesity

External Resources

Wikipedia documentation on Compulsive Overeating
Brown University Overview of Compulsive Overeating
Psychology Today Overview of Compulsive Overeating