When Eating Disorders Association N.I. was first established in 1992, it provided support primarily to people affected by anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. More recently, however, an increasing number of the people who contact Eating Disorders Association N.I. are looking for information and support in their struggle to overcome binge eating disorder or compulsive overeating. Many callers to the helpline report having lived with their disorder in isolation for years.
Although the booklet was initially meant to address the lack of information and practical guidance available to people with binge eating disorder, many of the strategies offered in the self help section of the booklet may also be of great use to people caught up in the binge-purge cycle that characterises bulimia and that can also exist in anorexia.
Binge eating disorder (BED) is the clinical term for compulsive overeating. It is now recognised, alongside anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, as one of the main eating disorders. It is also said to be the most prevalent eating disorder, occurring among at least 2% of the adult population, affecting both men and women, and affecting up to 15% of people who are obese.