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Overeating is the excess food consumed in relation to the energy that an organism expends (or expels via excretion), leading to weight gaining and often obesity. It may be regarded as an eating disorder.

This term may also be used to refer to specific episodes of over-consumption. For example, many people overeat during festivals or while on holiday.

Overeating can be a symptom of binge eating disorder or bulimia nervosa.

Compulsive over eaters depend on food to comfort themselves when they are stressed, suffering bouts of depression, and have feelings of helplessness.

In a broader sense, hyperalimentation includes excessive food administration through other means than eating, e.g. through parenteral nutrition.


Cognitive behavioural therapy, individual therapy, and group therapy are often beneficial in helping people keep track of their eating habits and changing the way they cope with difficult situations. Often overeating and the related binge eating are related to dieting, body image issues, as well as social pressures.[1]

There are several 12-step programs that helps overeaters, such as Overeaters Anonymous or Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous and others. It is quite clear through research, and various studies that overeating causes addictive behaviors.

In some instances, overeating has been linked to the use of medications known as dopamine agonists, such as pramipexole.[2]

See also[edit]


  • Kessler, David A. The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite (2009) ISBN 1-60529-785-2
  1. ^ "How I stopped overeating - the Food Freedom Guide". The Weightless Co. 2019-06-18.
  2. ^ "Parkinson's drug can cause compulsive gambling". Mayo Clinic. 2005-07-15. Archived from the original on 2006-03-20.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

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