SOURCE: Caring Online

August 09, 2012 09:00 ET

Recognition of Binge Eating Disorder Long Overdue, Says Dr. Gregory Jantz of Caring Online

EDMONDS, WA--(Marketwire - Aug 9, 2012) - As more research emerges showing the serious health consequences of compulsive overeating, psychologist Dr. Gregory Jantz of the eating disorder website Caring Online praises the planned inclusion of binge eating disorder in the upcoming edition of the most influential diagnostic manual in the mental health field.

Binge eating disorder will be listed with eating disorders more familiar to the general public, such as anorexia and bulimia, in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5. The American Psychiatric Association plans to release DSM-5 in May 2013. The previous edition of the manual, DSM-IV, gave binge eating disorder only provisional status and relegated it to the book's appendix for nearly 20 years.

"Eating disorder therapists working with patients on the front lines have long known that binge eating disorder is a distinct and serious condition," says Dr. Jantz, an internationally known author and founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources in Edmonds, WA. "Recognizing that people with binge eating disorder are facing a struggle that's just as difficult as battling anorexia or bulimia does justice to the severity of their suffering."

A study published earlier this month in the journal Pediatrics is just the latest to highlight the adverse effects of binge eating disorder. The study reported on a group of almost 8,600 females who have been tracked since 1996, when all were girls between the ages of 9 and 15. Some 2 to 3 percent of this group met the definition of binge eating disorder at some point in their lives.

Compared to women in the study group who never had an eating disorder, those who suffered from binge eating disorder were twice as likely to have struggled with obesity and twice as likely to have suffered from depression.

The most recent draft of DSM-5 describes binge eating disorder as consuming an amount of food within a defined period of time that is much larger than most people would eat in a similar time frame under similar circumstances. Bingeing episodes are characterized by a lack of self-control and feelings of emotional distress, as well as often causing physical discomfort, social isolation and embarrassment.

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