Overeating is a common problem, but there are many different types of overeating. Here are ten of the most frequently cited ways that overeating can become a problem.
1. Binge Eating
Binge eating involves consuming a large amount of food in a short space of time. Although binge eating in itself does not necessarily constitute a food addiction or eating disorder, binge eating is a symptom of Binge Eating Disorder, and the eating disorder Bulimia Nervosa.
3. Emotional Eating
Commonly cited on shows such as Oprah, emotional eating is frequently referred to as a way that women in particular eat when they feel upset or unhappy. The clichés of the girl eating a quart of ice cream after a bad breakup, or the middle aged women bingeing on carbs when she has PMS, are examples of "emotional eating" stereotypes. Unfortunately, these stereotypes can lead to the very behavior they portray in people who relate to them. What's more, men experience emotional eating as well.
4. Stress EatingStress eating, although closely related to emotional eating, is more heavily driven by anxiety rather than depression, and may be a way of fuelling overwork when time is not taken for adequate breaks or meals.
Sweet, sugary food is particularly addictive to many people. Some overeaters binge on confectionary or other sweet foods, with chocolate having a particular allure. Parents should be vigilant that their children do not develop sugar addiction, as daily sweets consumption in childhood is related to emotional difficulties in adulthood, as well as obesity and tooth decay.
6. Compulsive Snacking
Although eating two to three snacks a day between meals is often considered healthy, constant snacking, particularly on unhealthy snacks, can lead to overeating, whether the snacking is in place of or in addition to regular meals. Many overeaters fall into the trap of carefully plannning three healthy meals a day but not including snacks in their calorie count, thereby inadvertently overeating.