The essential features of this disorder are recurrent episodes of binge eating (rapid consumption of a large amount of food in a discrete period of time); a feeling of lack of control over eating behavior during the eating binges; self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives or diuretics, strict dieting or fasting, or vigorous exercise in order prevent weight gain; and persistent overconcern with body shape and weight. In order to warrant the diagnosis, the person must have had, on average, a minimum of two binge eating episodes a week for at least three months.
An eating disorder in which the affected person has uncontrollable urges to eat a great deal of food in a short period and then rid the body of the food consumed.
An eating disorder in which people eat large amounts of food in a sitting (binging), and then vomit (purging). The vomiting is triggered by a fear of weight gain, from stomach pain, or from the guilt of overeating. People with bulimia also use laxatives, diuretics, and vigorous exercise to lose weight. See also: Treatment