Binge Eating Disorder Treatment

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Burlington Vermont Binge Eating Disorder Treatment

Binge eating disorder (BED) is a mental health disorder that is further classified as a type of eating disorder. BED is actually the most common type of eating disorder in the United States, with about 2.8 million adults struggling. Binge eating disorder is more widespread in the U.S. than anorexia and bulimia combined.

The Kahm Center for Eating Disorders provides outpatient treatment to those who are struggling with binge eating disorders. Binge eating disorder treatment helps people who are struggling to find healthy coping skills to manage their eating disorder behaviors. We understand that seeking help for a binge eating disorder can be challenging. Our team of trusted eating disorder treatment professionals provides clients with the support and understanding needed to repair their relationship with food.

    Take our Binge Eating Disorder Self-Test

    If you are concerned that you or a loved one could have a binge eating disorder, utilize this test as a valuable resource and guideline to assess whether your symptoms align with those of this eating disorder.

    Binge Eating Disorder Quiz

What is a Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating disorder (BED) is a subtype of eating disorder that is characterized by episodes of binge eating. BED is commonly associated with feelings of shame, guilt, or fear after episodes of overeating. Despite these feelings, individuals with binge eating disorders often cannot control their BED.
Binge eating disorder (BED) can lead to a range of mental and physical health issues if left untreated. The disorder often involves episodes of excessive eating, which can sometimes occur during the night, known as nighttime binge eating. This specific pattern can disrupt sleep and exacerbate the health complications associated with BED.

BED treatment typically involves a comprehensive approach that includes regular meetings with a dietitian to develop a personalized nutrition plan, which is crucial for establishing healthy eating patterns. Therapy sessions also play a vital role in helping individuals understand and manage the triggers that lead to binge eating. With the right support and care, recovery from binge eating disorder is achievable, allowing individuals to regain control over their eating habits and improve their quality of life.

Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

Knowing the warning signs and symptoms of binge eating disorder can help you recognize it within yourself or your loved one and seek treatment. While behaviors associated with binge eating disorder can be difficult to identify, there are certain signs that can help you determine if someone is struggling with BED.

Signs of binge eating disorder can include:
  • Noticeable fluctuations in weight
  • Stealing or hoarding food
  • Secret recurring episodes of binge eating
  • Developing food rituals
  • Eating alone out of embarrassment
  • Low self-esteem
  • Empty wrappers and containers

Diagnostic Criteria for Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), is a diagnostic tool utilized by psychiatrists and doctors to help classify and diagnose different mental disorders. According to the DSM-5, binge eating disorder is classified under eating disorders.

DSM-5 criteria for Binge Eating Disorder (BED) include the following:
  1. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. Both of the following characterize an episode of binge eating:
    • Eating, in a specified period of time, an amount of food that is larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances
    • Feeling like you cannot stop eating or control what you are eating during the binge eating episode
  2. The binge-eating episodes are associated with three or more of the following:
    • Eating more rapidly than normal
    • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
    • Eating large amounts of food without feeling physically hungry
    • Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how the amount of eating
    • Feeling disgusted, depressed, or very guilty after a binge eating episode
  3. Significant distress regarding binge eating occurs
  4. Binge eating occurs at least once a week for three months.
  5. Binge eating is independent of bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, or compensatory behaviors.

Binge Eating Disorder Severity

According to the DSM-5 for binge eating disorder, the diagnosis also includes the disorder's severity level. Severity is based on how many episodes of binge eating occur throughout the week.

The severity of binge eating disorder is as follows:
  • Mild: 1-3 binge-eating episodes per week
  • Moderate: 4- binge-eating episodes per week
  • Severe: 8-13 binge-eating episodes per week
  • Extreme: 14 or more binge-eating episodes per week 14 or more binge-eating episodes per week

Binge Eating Disorder vs. Overeating

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and overeating are often misunderstood and can be confused with one another, yet they have distinct differences, particularly in their relationship with anxiety and binge eating. BED is a medical diagnosis requiring treatment for improvement and can significantly impact daily life. It is characterized by episodes of binge eating that occur at least once per week for three months. These episodes are a part of a disorder that is frequently associated with underlying psychological issues, such as anxiety, and sometimes co-occurs with other mental health conditions, including bipolar and binge eating relationships.

In contrast, overeating is a behavior that can occur in any individual and happens sporadically, often in response to situational cues rather than as part of a disorder. For instance, it's common to overeat during the holiday season, like having an extra helping of dinner. However, this occasional overeating is not considered a disorder and typically does not require the same treatment as BED. The distinction is important as BED is often associated with a complex interplay of emotional factors, including anxiety, which necessitates a targeted approach for management and recovery

Health Risks of Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorders can be associated with physical and mental health side effects and risks. Engaging in binge eating on a regular basis can result in greater health problems.
Health risks from binge eating disorder can include:

The severity of binge eating disorder is as follows:
  • Obesity
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Depression

Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder treatment at the Kahm Center for Eating Disorders consists of meetings with a dietitian, doctor, and therapist. A dietitian and doctor will help develop a nutrition plan and monitor recovery progress. Therapists can help individuals with BED by providing individual and group therapy sessions using evidence-based therapies.


The intensive outpatient program (IOP) for binge eating disorders at the Kahm Center for Eating Disorders takes place in Burlington, Vermont, and is held for three hours per day, five days per week. IOP eating disorder treatment provides slightly less structure than the PHP level of care. Participants can still live off-site in their own residences or a supportive living environment.
IOP binge eating disorder treatment is designed so that participants can still uphold responsibilities outside of treatment. Participants can still attend school or work while also receiving treatment during the week. This level of care allows participants to really practice their healthy coping skills in the real world. At the same time, participants still have support from treatment professionals to help them on their recovery journey.


Participants in the partial hospitalization program for binge eating disorders can live in their own homes or at a supportive living home during their treatment. They are expected to attend treatment programming during the day and then leave for the evening. Professionals can provide participants with the support and structure necessary to recover from their binge eating disorder.
The partial hospitalization program (PHP) for binge eating disorders at the Kahm Center for Eating Disorders takes place in Burlington, Vermont, and is held five hours per day, five days per week. PHP programs are designed to act as a lower level of treatment compared to inpatient or residential eating disorder treatment.

Outpatient Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder in Vermont

Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common type of eating disorder in the United States. This eating disorder can be associated with health risks if untreated. Many people struggling with BED may be reluctant to seek help. It is essential for people to seek treatment from a trusted team of professionals with proven experience to help people find recovery from their binge eating disorder.
If you or a loved one are struggling with a binge eating disorder, reach out to the Kahm Center for Eating Disorders in Vermont today. At the Kahm Center, binge eating disorder treatment can include therapy, nutrition plans, and structure that can help establish physical and nutritional health. Utilizing a nutritionist can help manage ongoing challenges with body image, food, and eating disorder behaviors.

Clinically Reviewed By

nick kahm reviewer

Nick Kahm, PhD


Nick Kahm, a former philosophy faculty member at St. Michael's College in Colchester, VT, transitioned from academia to running the Kahm Clinic with his mother. He started the clinic to train dietitians in using Metabolic Testing and Body Composition Analysis for helping people with eating disorders. Now, he is enthusiastic about expanding eating disorder treatment through the Kahm Center for Eating Disorders in Vermont.

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