Bingeing: eating more, enjoying less

July 07, 1992|By Mary Maushard

"Not everyone who is overweight is a food junkie," advises Dr. Lawrence Cheskin, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight

Management Center, a 2-year-old program at Francis Scott Key Medical Center.

If a person weighs 40 percent more than the upper range of ideal body weights, he is considered moderately obese and an increased health risk, Dr. Cheskin says.

Not all overeaters binge, but many do. From 25 to 50 percent of overweight people binge, he says. A binge is considered the consumption of a large quantity of high-calorie foods "in a discrete time period."

One binge does not make a binge eater. A person who binges at least twice a week for six months is considered to have this

disorder, says Dr. Harry Brandt of the Mercy Center for Eating Disorders at Mercy Medical Center.

Binge eating, as a disorder, has other characteristics:

*Lack of control during eating.

*The consumption of much more food and at a more rapid rate than normal.

*Eating is not precipitated by hunger.

* Eating is followed or accompanied by embarrassment, shame

or disgust.

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