Bulimia you say? Anorexia perhaps? Not so. It is actually “binge eating”, the act of over eating even if feeling full. According to a recent survey, 3.5% of women and 2% of men suffer from binge eating, where they eat uncontrollably at least twice per week on average.
Binge eaters are highly at risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even certain cancers. It is truly a very hard problem to deal with. That is so, because you have to eat no matter what. For example, an alcoholic can stop drinking and continue life. For a binge eater, you still need to eat daily. How successful would recovering alcoholics be if they had to drink alcohol 3 times a day, every day?
Fast food advertising is in part to blame for these binge eating problems. We’ve all seen these commercials, Taco Bell’s gigantic burrito comes to mind, where very unhealthy food is promoted in large quantities at relatively low prices. That’s a bad combination, especially for people predisposed with such issues, due in part by genetics. It is time for large corporations to stop thinking about money and promote more of their healthier options with regular sizes. It’s just not normal to be served a plate that could feed 2-3 people just 20 years ago. Common sense and good faith must be expressed by these companies, to not incite people who already have a problem in their lives to do something that is not good for them like over eating.
Surprisingly, perhaps because we hear about it so much in the news, but anorexia is found in less than 1% of women and 0.3% of men. Bulimia, which is often characterized as “binge-purge”, where you overeat then force yourself to vomit is found in 1.5% of women and 0.5% of men.
Now these numbers are probably much higher, it’s just that most people with eating disorders are ashamed to reveal it, even under anonymous surveys.