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I am almost positive that my nephew has a binge eating disorder, but I don’t know how to tell that to his parents. He regularly skips meals, but he always has crisps and other salty snacks or chocolate bars with him. I caught him eating hidden in the yard or in the kitchen so many times. I also watch him when he eats - he chews really fast and swallows food which is not properly chewed in order to be sure he’ll get more food. And he is obviously too fat, just his parents can’t see that because they are too busy with their divorce. I’m sure his emotional life causes his food problems. Do these symptoms indicate binge eating disorder?

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I suppose your nephew is a teenager who suffers greatly because his parents are getting a divorce; being unable to solve this, to confine in someone or to somehow articulate the mess in his emotional life he overeats himself. This is called binge eating disorder and it means that he is not in charge of his actions when it comes to food. The culprits overeat themselves very often during the day for a longer period of time and they cannot control their actions, they are not able to impose rules upon themselves and are not afraid of gaining weight (unlike those who have bulimia - they initiate vomiting after overeating in order to prevent gaining weight). This disorder is very frequent among teenagers - they are already fragile and feel that nobody understands them and when certain difficulties emerge in their private, emotional or family life they can’t find the way to cope with them and food becomes their best friend. They usually feel guilty after overeating, only it doesn’t last long and they very soon return to the established pattern of behavior that soothes and comforts them. The action of overeating initiates troubles on several levels. First, there is a problem of weight, combined with the greater risk of various vascular, intestinal and other disorders and diseases. Second, the quality of the food taken in this way is low; it cannot provide enough vitamins, minerals, proteins or other important nutritional ingredients that are necessary, especially for a growing organism. And, of course, the prolongation of this condition and keeping status quo can only further worsen the mental state of the person. Face the parents with the facts - this boy has a binge eating disorder and needs help.
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