Epidemiology and Recognition of Binge-Eating Disorder in Psychiatry and Primary Care




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Substantial unmet needs exist regarding the awareness, diagnosis, and treatment of binge-eating disorder (BED). Affecting both men and women and appearing in all ethnic groups, BED is the most prevalent of all the eating disorders in the United States and worldwide. Left untreated, BED causes significant impairment, reduced quality of life, and decreased productivity. Many patients are unaware of the disorder and present for treatment of weight-related issues or comorbid medical and psychiatric conditions. Communication barriers, such as the reluctance of patients to volunteer information about their eating habits and of clinicians to ask potentially sensitive questions, may be overcome with the use of diagnostic criteria along with appropriate assessment questions and screening tools. Early recognition and accurate diagnosis may help mitigate the long-term impact of BED.

J Clin Psychiatry 2017;78(suppl 1):3–8