The problems associated with binge eating are related to obesity. Since people consume so many calories in a short period of time, and generally do not burn them off, they tend to put on a lot of weight. Obesity is one of the biggest health problems in this country. As many as 300, 000 people die from the complications of obesity annually.
Common problems of the obese and overweight include:
- certain types of cancers
- gallbladder disease
- heart disease
- high blood pressure or hypertension
- high cholesterol levels
People with binge eating disorder are also more subject to some psychiatric illnesses. They have been found to have higher risk of the following illnesses:
There are societal issues and social prejudice which work against people with obesity. For example, some jobs have weight limits, thus keeping out people with weight problems. Airlines and buses have seats which are “one size fits all.”
There are also economic drawbacks to being obese or overweight. People need to buy special clothes, or even shop in different stores and the clothing is more expensive. Some people need to purchase first-class seats on airlines to be comfortable. Some people need to purchase specially made furniture for their homes or offices. Health care costs are more expensive. Purchasing life, health and disability insurance is more expensive because overweight people are considered greater risks.
One of the criteria for people with binge eating disorder is for them to feel remorseful or embarrassed over their behavior. In addition, we live in a society where “thin is in,” so the results of years of binge eating can cause a person with binge eating disorder to isolate herself from the rest of family and friends. The emotional distress over the behavior causes people with binge eating disorder to hide their behavior. It is very rare for an individual to seek help for her eating behavior, despite the emotional pain that it causes her.