Eating DisordersspacerPhysical HealthspacerSubstance AbusespacerHelp and ResourcesspacerEmotional HealthspacerSexual IssuesspacerPressures

Compulsive Overeating
 by Margit
 Age 16

Our Health Our Futures Logo

Photo of Margit
     Margit, Age 16
  spacerCompulsive Overeating is a disorder in which a person gorges on food and then gains a lot of weight (unlike bulimics, they do not usually throw up or abuse drugs to remove the food from their bodies). Compulsive overeaters are usually aware of the abnormality of their eating habits, and often feel out of control. Eating for them may be a method of coping with stress, and some feel that fat will keep others at a distance and keep them immune to sexual abuse.
spacerUnfortunately for the compulsive eater, their habits start a vicious cycle. The more weight they gain, the harder it is for them to take off weight, because of the physical results. Most may try to diet, but if they have trouble sticking to a diet, they may break it and binge, and continue going on cycles of bingeing and purging. And emotionally, they may be affected negatively. Some may become depressed about their appearance and this can cause them to eat more.

What are the symptoms of compulsive overeating?

  • Weight gain
  • Hypertension or fatigue
  • Heart ailments
  • Mobility problems
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Sleep deprivation
  • High blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Cardiac arrest and death

spacerHmm, this is a hard one since compulsive eating is not always taken as seriously as anorexia and bulimia. It is important for anyone with this disorder to get treatment (therapy and counseling for medical health and good nutrition). Diets are good when they work - that is, they provide enough nutrition and the person can follow them well - and exercise is important. This can be overcome, but not alone.