Factors that can increase your risk of developing binge-eating disorder include:

  • Family history and biological factors. You're much more likely to have an eating disorder if your parents or siblings have (or had) an eating disorder. Some people with binge-eating disorder may have inherited genes that make them more susceptible to developing the disorder, or their brain chemicals may have changed.
  • Psychological issues. Most people who have binge-eating disorder are overweight, acutely aware of their appearance, and feel bad about it. When you have binge-eating disorder, you may act impulsively and feel you can't control your behavior. You may have a history of depression or substance abuse. And you may have trouble coping with stress, worry, anger, sadness and boredom.
  • Dieting. Many people with binge-eating disorder have a history of dieting — some have dieted to excess dating back to childhood. Dieting may trigger an urge to binge eat, especially if you have low self-esteem and symptoms of depression.
  • Your age. Although people of any age can have binge-eating disorder, it often begins in the late teens or early 20s.
Apr. 03, 2012

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.