A popular YouTube video follows the trials of a woman whose son finds it impossible to refrain from eating. This, however, is not a one-off instance, as thousands of people around the world suffer from a similar problem: compulsive overeating. It is a registered disorder, in which a person eats out of habit, and with alarming irregularity, even when they are not physically hungry. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, an abnormally large frequency and portion of meals and snacks, secretive eating habits, rapid weight gain, an immense preoccupation with body weight, indulging in a number of inevitably unsuccessful diets, and many more.
Needless to say, overeating comes with its own share of serious health issues, both mental and physical.
Uncontrolled weight gain
First of all, it is not easy to maintain a healthy body weight if one is beset with the desire to eat every hour or so. Uncontrolled eating comes hand in hand with uncontrolled weight gain, even if you are actually blessed with great metabolism. There is only so much your digestive system will be able to process within a certain time period, and it is important that you allow it the time required to digest a certain amount of food before giving it a new batch. If you do not do so, the extra food gets converted into fat and is deposited in your body. Needless to say, this leads to not just obesity, but a variety of other related illnesses.
People who overeat, even for short duration, can lead to several health complications. Several cardiac issues are strongly related to obesity. High cholesterol is also a very common side effect of overeating. People who overeat also tend to have a very high storage of unhealthy fats, which in turn increases the risk of certain types of cancer.
Great financial cost
The financial implications of overeating cannot be denied. Food, even the cheapest variety, can cost a lot if taken in immoderate amounts. The overall financial impact can be staggering, not to mention the added expense of medical bills that will definitely be incurred once the ill effects of overeating start to set in.
People who suffer from compulsive or obsessive eating disorder are usually aware of the issue, and hence suffer from an added sense of guilt and shame. In extreme cases, it may begin to hamper their personal and social life as they constantly obsess about the food they will eat, and the next time that they will eat. It is not uncommon to see a person suffering from this disorder to skip social contact in order to indulge in their habits at peace, and away from the judgment of people around them. This may give rise to social alienation, and a host of associated psychological illnesses.
A person suffering from compulsive overeating disorder is usually fraught with feelings of guilt and shame. Sadly, this day and age of rampant body-shaming does nothing to help their case. It is important to remember, for both the victims and their social circle, that overeating is an illness, and like any other illness, is treatable with the right medications, guidance, and a whole lot of support.