For many people with binge eating disorder or compulsive eating, there is a phobia of leaving a meal not feeling entirely full or nourished. In layman’s terms, a fear of hunger. As a result, this perception of eating to feel full has led to the increased demand for “healthier” foods such as those which advertise low-calorie, low-fat, sugar-free, and low carbohydrate, just to name a few.  This spike in products which offer “more beneficial” alternatives has led to those with aggressive eating disorders to rationalize their ability to eat more of a low-calorie food. When Kelly Stellato, MS, RD, LDN, asked a few patients with binge eating disorder (BED) the question, “Why not have one scoop of the premium ice cream you love instead of three scoops of fat-free frozen yogurt that you state tastes just ‘OK?’”, the answers revolved around the principle of being able to eat so much more if it’s fat-free or low-sugar. This school of thinking is interesting because who knew that many people would prefer to eat a larger quantity of less-delicious food, than less of the real, better-tasting food.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, thirty percent of obese clients seeking weight loss treatment suffer from BED. Due to the fact that a significant portion of individuals suffering from obesity also have psychological disorders, it is important to distinguish their treatment. While food portion management and preaching eating less may seem like a good treatment for a patient with an underlying condition such as BED, a better idea may be to focus on instilling an eating regiment. By giving a patient more structure to their eating, it may alleviate the issues regarding the need to feel full, helping to combat a core issue behind their obesity. With a strong structure of multiple meals and snacks paced throughout the day, it is hard after the beginning for a patient not to see some resolution of their fear of being not full. Remember to always consult with a doctor or clinician if you have any fears or reasons to believe that you might have an eating disorder.


About the author:

Blake Strader is Walden’s Social Media Intern.  In this role, he is responsible for researching topics related to Walden’s business, writing blog posts, and keeping the public up-to-date on Walden’s doings via Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, and LinkedIn. Currently, Blake is in pursuit of a Computer and Information Systems degree from Bentley University.