DSM-5 to Include Binge Eating Disorder

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The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will be published in May 2013. It is the first major revision of the DSM since the mid-1990s.

DSM-5 recognizes binge eating disorder as a separate eating disorder. Previously, in DSM-IV, binge eating disorder was listed in Appendix B, which covered “criteria sets and axes provided for further study,” and these individuals were diagnosed with eating disorders not otherwise specified.

Binge eating disorder is defined as recurring episodes of eating significantly more food in a short period of time than most people would eat under similar circumstances, with episodes marked by feelings of lack of control. “Someone with binge eating disorder may eat too quickly, even when he or she is not hungry,” according to an American Psychiatric Association fact sheet. “The person may have feelings of guilt, embarrassment, or disgust and may binge eat alone to hide the behavior. This disorder is associated with marked distress and occurs, on average, at least once a week over three months.”

The inclusion of BED is intended to increase awareness of the substantial differences between binge eating disorder and the common phenomenon of overeating.