Buying and Selling Binge Eating Disorder

A drug company recently received FDA approval to peddle its speed-like pill for ‘Binge Eating Disorder’ (the very same pill that is already widely overused for ADHD). And it is sparing no expense pushing the drug — a former world tennis champ is the shill and commercials are everywhere.

Five years ago, I predicted Binge Eating Disorder would become a new fad diagnosis and a wonderful target for Pharma disease-mongering. I tried to convince the DSM-5 group to drop it, but failed.

Now we are off to the races. A drug company has gotten FDA approval to peddle its speed-like pill for ‘BED’ (the very same pill that is already widely overused disease-mongered ADHD).

My prediction now is that, with a massive marketing campaign behind it, BED will become one of the most common of all diagnoses. Especially with a former world tennis champ as shill and with commercials.

Millions of people will be mislabeled as mentally ill and treated with unhelpful, and potentially harmful, diet pills.

The first suggestion to make ‘BED’ an official diagnosis was made 25 years ago, by eating disorder experts working on DSM IV.

They reported seeing patients who they felt needed help for binge eating, but who didn’t fulfill the full criteria for Bulimia Nervosa. BN required that eating binges be compensated for with dieting, vomiting, laxatives, or intense exercise. ‘BED’ would be for those who binged without compensation and were therefore more likely to be overweight or obese.

We had a high threshold for including new disorders in DSM-IV and ‘BED’ didn’t come close to making the cut. There was virtually no research to back it up.

Three things have changed in the ensuing years to turn BED from clear reject to bright star.

First, a few more studies were done. But they would not have satisfied the high —> Read More