One major issue that is often ignored within the fitness and bodybuilding world is Binge Eating Disorder. BED is characterized by recurring, quick episodes of extreme eating to the point of discomfort, often followed by feelings of shame and guilt. This disorder is commonly written off, but it actually plagues eight percent of Adult Americans at some point in their life time, making it the most common eating disorder in America. It can obviously harm people’s physical health and wellbeing, and the psychological consequences of such a difficult disorder can be detrimental to the patients’ mental health and happiness as well.
This problem is especially relevant to the bodybuilding community because concepts such as carbo-loading and excessive consumption of foods high in protein can quickly spiral into Binge Eating Disorder, if one is not careful. Bodybuilders often have to apply strict rules to their diets in order to sculpt their physique, monitoring exactly which foods they can and cannot put into their bodies; often these foods must have a large amounts of carbs or protein, which is necessary when trying to gain muscle mass. However, this territory becomes dangerous if a person becomes so focused on putting on mass that they can no longer control themselves, consuming excessive amounts of foods in one sitting because they feel they need to be eating more protein and carbs. This can lead to feelings of shame afterwards when the bodybuilders start to feel uncomfortable because of how full they are or when they realize how just much food they have eaten at once.
My opinion on Binge Eating Disorder is that it is an extremely difficult and devastating problem. The toll it takes on people’s bodies, minds, and lives is incomparable, especially considering that it impacts nearly eight million people in American alone. I actually have a friend with Binge Eating Disorder, and she has dealt with misconceptions and generalizations about BED since she was diagnosed, particularly from her parents. She has described, in detail, her feelings about losing control and not being able to stop herself from consuming more and more food, even when her stomach hurts her from being full, and yet, her parents still do not understand or sympathize with her struggle. The devastating fact is that BED is often misconstrued into people simply overeating, when, in reality, the patients have a disorder that makes it highly difficult for them to control themselves. This is why I believe it is extremely important to spread awareness about Binge Eating Disorder, especially in the groups of people where it is more likely to occur, such as those with moods or anxiety disorders, people with previous substance abuse issues, and the bodybuilding community.
Bodybuilders hold their physical fitness to the highest standards, ensuring they eat healthily and workout safely to gain muscle mass. However, when they let their protein and carb consumption rule their lives, it can lead to Binge Eating Disorder, causing them to damage their bodies rather than improve upon them. With products such as bodybuilding supplements and vitamin replacements, the risk of bodybuilders developing Binge Eating Disorder is lessened, but they still must be careful with how much food they are consuming. The fact of the matter is that millions of Americans suffer from BED, and, whether they are bodybuilders or not, these people deserve to feel validated and receive help for their problem, which is why it is so important to spread awareness of Binge Eating Disorder.
My name is Madi, and I have just finished my freshman year at The Ohio State University. I am currently undecided, but I am looking into majors involving TV/Film Production. I have always had a personal dedication to fitness and working out, mostly because I love to dance, even though I have no sense of rhythm. My friends and I love to go to the Zumba and Cycling classes offered at OSU, so we decided to create workout regimens based off of them in a never-ending quest to be healthy and fit
- National Eating Disorders Association, https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/by-eating-disorder/bed
- National Eating Disorders Association, https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/statistics-research-eating-disorders