Little is known about the development of binge eating disorder, which typically begins in adolescence, although it may begin in later adulthood. Binge-eating disorder can occur in people of all ages and genders, across all socioeconomic groups, and from any cultural background. Equal numbers of males and females experience binge-eating disorder.
Some research suggests some genetic influences may be present, and the disorder can impact health, life satisfaction, increase medical problems, and put individuals at an increased risk for weight gain. Individuals with binge-eating disorder may also experience mood, anxiety or substance abuse disorders.
Dieting may follow the development of binge-eating disorder for many people, however, unlike individuals with bulimia nervosa, typically a person with binge-eating disorder will not use compensatory behaviours, such as self-induced vomiting or over-exercising after binge eating.