TV Use May Predict Binge Eating Behavior, Says Study

tv remoteAre you a binge eater?  If you are trying to lose weight, binge eating behavior can cause your weight loss program to stall or even backfire – even if you participate in an otherwise healthy diet and exercise program.

What is Binge Eating?

Researchers describe binge eating as eating a large amount of food in a short period of time (without a harmful purging episode that would indicate the possibility of an eating disorder). Scientists also say that the binge eater often feels depressed disgusted, guilty or out of control after the episode.

In a recent study published in Eating Behaviors, study authors found that television viewing predicted binge eating behavior in people who were trying to lose weight.  That is, study participants who watched more television were more likely to have binge eating episodes.  The study did not say that the binge eating episodes necessarily took place during tv watching.

How Can I Prevent Binge Eating?

Evaluating your television watching may be one way to improve your eating habits overall.  According to the National Weight Control Registry, most people who lose weight and keep it off watch less than ten hours of television per week.  And if you find that your binge eating episodes happen mindlessly during tv viewing hours, you may be able to prevent them by adopting different leisure time activities.

You can also talk to a behavioral therapist about why binge eating occurs and about the emotions that follow.  Many behavioral therapists are specifically trained to help patients navigate the emotional ups and downs of dieting and body image.  To get a referral, talk to your health care team.

Have you checked out the North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss website?  It’s a great source of easy tips for healthy eating, exercise and diet support.  You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.





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