Skip to Content

Binge Eating Causes

Binge eating is caused by a number of interdependent factors. These include physiological factors (such as our brain chemistry), social and cultural factors (including the thin body ideal), dieting, and negative mood states. Dieting is a common cause of binge eating. Dieting involves setting rules about what to eat and when.

If those rules are occasionally broken, for example, by eating a food you are not allowed or eating more than you should, some people think that their diet is ruined. As a consequence, they eat all they want and plan to start their diet again the next day. Negative emotions are also common causes of binge eating. People often overeat as a way to make themselves feel better or to distract themselves from their problems.

A traumatic event, which may have taken place years before evidence of binge-eating symptoms, is often a cause. Such events may include:

  • Sexual abuse or rape
  • Emotional abuse
  • Death of a loved one
  • Physical violence

Binge eating causes vary, but treatment is still a viable option for all people who struggle with eating disorders.