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Someone who displays the signs of compulsive eating may be suffering from one of the eating disorders and not even realize it. This condition is often called a food addiction, and it may be caused by some of the same factors that lead to substance abuse in others. The need to overeat may be due to an emotional state or a traumatic event earlier in life. Would you recognize the signs of compulsive overeating if you experienced or saw them? For many people the answer is no.

Some of the common signs of compulsive eating may be similar to those of certain other eating disorders. Binge eating occurs when large amounts of food are consumed in a single sitting, and you continue eating long after your hunger has been satiated. Other possible signs of compulsive overeating can include:

  • Eating food faster than usual
  • Being preoccupied with your weight
  • Feeling guilty when you eat too much
  • Being ashamed of your eating habits
  • Eating in private when no one else is around
  • Hiding food, or hiding evidence of the amount of food that you have consumed
  • Weight that fluctuates frequently
  • Constantly dieting yet failing to lose weight
  • Being overweight from eating large amounts of junk food
  • Obesity related medical and health conditions
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Losing interest in the usual activities because you are concerned about your weight or how you look
  • Using food as a source of comfort or a friend