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A Real Medical Condition

B.E.D. is the most common eating disorder among adults in the US compared to anorexia and bulimia.  Advances in medicine in the last few years have resulted in Binge Eating Disorder (B.E.D.) being recognized as a real medical condition. Only a doctor or other trained health care professional can diagnose B.E.D. and determine an appropriate treatment plan. Medicine is not appropriate for all adults with B.E.D. Talk to your doctor to see what might be right for you.

Average Age of Onset

On average, the onset of B.E.D. in adults appears at a later age compared to bulimia and anorexia.

B.E.D. occurs in both men and women, and across different races and ethnicities.

B.E.D. vs Overeating

While overeating is a challenge for many Americans, recurrent binge eating is much less common and far more severe.

The Majority of Adults with B.E.D. Are Not Obese*

The Majority of Adults with B.E.D. Are Not Obese* 

Binge Eating Disorder can occur in normal-weight, overweight, or obese adults.

*Current body mass index (BMI) in adults with B.E.D. over the previous 12 months from a sample of adults aged greater than or equal to 18 years who were assessed in a national survey for an eating disorder.

Data from a sample of 2,980 adults aged greater than or equal to 18 years who were assessed for an eating disorder in a national survey.

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Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms in Adults

As mentioned above, Binge Eating Disorder involves more than overeating on occasion. In fact, the criteria for B.E.D. are very specific and should be discussed with your doctor, as only a qualified health care professional can make a diagnosis.

All of the following symptoms must be present in order for your doctor to make a diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder:

These symptoms must be present:
  • Regularly eating far more food than most people would in a similar time period under similar circumstances
  • Feeling that one’s eating is out of control during a binge
  • Being very upset by binge eating
  • On average, binge eating takes place at least once a week for 3 months
  • Unlike adults with other eating disorders, those with Binge Eating Disorder don’t routinely try to “undo” their excessive eating with extreme actions like throwing up or over-exercising. Binge Eating Disorder is not part of another eating disorder
And, three or more of these symptoms must also be present:
  • Eating extremely fast
  • Eating beyond feeling full
  • Eating large amounts of food when not hungry
  • Eating alone to hide how much one is eating
  • Feeling bad about oneself after a binge 

The B.E.D. criteria above are for informational purposes only and are not intended to make a diagnosis. Only a doctor or other trained health care professional can make a diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder.

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The Levels of Severity

A doctor or trained health care professional may diagnose B.E.D. based on the criteria described above, the number of binge eating episodes per week, and other factors. A diagnosis of B.E.D. can be described as mild, moderate, severe, or extreme.

Mild: 1-3 binge-eating episodes per week.

Moderate: 4-7 binge-eating episodes per week.

Severe: 8-13 binge-eating episodes per week.

Extreme: 14 or more binge-eating episodes per week.

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What Causes Binge Eating Disorder in Adults?

While the exact cause of B.E.D. is unknown, certain brain chemicals, family history, and certain life experiences may play a role. Theories suggest that adults with B.E.D. may have differences in brain chemistry that could: 

  • Interfere with the ability to regulate food intake
  • Create or increase the “wanting” of a particular food
  • Increase the “liking” of a particular food

There is evidence that B.E.D. could be hereditary and that the disorder could be linked to family genetics. There is also evidence that particularly stressful events in an individual's life could be tied to B.E.D. Some types of events that may increase the risk of B.E.D. include life-threatening accidents or natural disasters.

More research is needed to determine the potential causes of B.E.D. Talk to your doctor or other trained health care professional if you have any questions.

Ask your doctor about any specific risk factors you are concerned about.

Ask your doctor about any specific risk factors you are concerned about

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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Vyvanse is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep Vyvanse in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away Vyvanse may harm others and is against the law.

Vyvanse is a stimulant medicine. Tell the doctor if you or your child have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines, or street drugs.

Who should not take Vyvanse?

Do not take Vyvanse if you or your child are:

  • taking or have taken an anti-depression medicine called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) within the past 14 days.
  • sensitive or allergic to, or had a reaction to other stimulant medicines.

Serious problems can occur while taking Vyvanse. Tell the doctor:

  • if you or your child have heart problems, heart defects, high blood pressure, or a family history of these problems. Sudden death has occurred in people with heart problems or defects taking stimulant medicines. Sudden death, stroke and heart attack have happened in adults taking stimulant medicines. Your doctor should check you or your child carefully for heart problems before starting Vyvanse. Since increases in blood pressure and heart rate may occur, the doctor should regularly check these during treatment. Call the doctor right away if you or your child have any signs of heart problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting while taking Vyvanse.
  • if you or your child have mental (psychiatric) problems, or a family history of suicide, bipolar illness, or depression. New or worse behavior and thought problems or new or worse bipolar illness may occur. New psychotic symptoms (such as seeing or hearing things that are not real, believing things that are not true, being suspicious) or new manic symptoms may occur. Call the doctor right away if there are any new or worsening mental symptoms or problems during treatment.
  • if you or your child have circulation problems in fingers and toes (peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon). Fingers or toes may feel numb, cool, painful, sensitive to temperature and/or change color from pale, to blue, to red. Call the doctor right away if any signs of unexplained wounds appear on fingers or toes while taking Vyvanse.
  • if your child is having slowing of growth (height or weight). The doctor should check your child’s height and weight often while on Vyvanse, and may stop treatment if a problem is found.
  • if you or your child have symptoms of serotonin syndrome: agitation, hallucinations, coma, or changes in mental status; problems controlling movements or muscle twitching, stiffness, or tightness; fast heartbeat; sweating or fever; nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room if symptoms occur. Serotonin syndrome may occur if Vyvanse is taken with certain medicines and may be life-threatening.
  • if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby.
  • if you or your child are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed while taking Vyvanse. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take Vyvanse.

What are possible side effects of Vyvanse?

The most common side effects of Vyvanse in ADHD include:

    • anxiety
    • decreased appetite
    • diarrhea
    • dizziness
    • dry mouth
    • irritability
    • loss of appetite
    • nausea
    • trouble sleeping
    • upper stomach pain
    • vomiting
    • weight loss

The most common side effects of Vyvanse in adults with moderate to severe B.E.D. include:

    • dry mouth
    • trouble sleeping
    • decreased appetite
    • increased heart rate
    • constipation
    • feeling jittery
    • anxiety

For additional safety information, click here for Prescribing Information and Medication Guide and discuss with your doctor.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


  • if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby.
  • if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby.
  • if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby.
  • if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby.
  • if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby.
  • if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby.