As a clinical researcher, as well as a clinician
who treats folks with binge eating, I wish we knew exactly why people develop binge eating.
I think, what we do know about most eating problems, is that there’s really a combination
of factors; there can be some deep rooted psychological or emotional issues that can
be linked to why a person develops binge eating. There’s also likely to be certain biological
predispositions, perhaps some genetic predispositions to developing problems like binge eating.
In one model of what causes binge eating, the cognitive behavioral model of binge eating,
this model sort of takes a look at the binge eating behavior, and how it’s linked to the
utilization of certain types of dietary rules. How that’s linked to preoccupations and over
preoccupations with shape and weight, and how that is linked to other types of disturbances
or difficulties that the person maybe experiencing in their emotional life, whether that’s depression,
whether that’s self esteem problems, whether that’s identity problems, or some other type
of problem. So, there is probably no one right answer as to what causes binge eating for
a particular person. It’s likely to be a combination of emotional and biological factors. Whatever
the case, starting to talk about binge eating problem with an experienced professional can
help start to sort out, for you, what were the causes of your binge eating problem, how
do we start to address the issues that are there, the behaviors that are there, and make
a treatment plan that can help you start to get a handle on that behavior.