Los Angeles Times
November 23, 2009
Rina Silverman’s refrigerator is almost always empty. She keeps it that way to avert episodes of frantic food consumption, often at night after a full meal, in which she tastes nothing and feels nothing but can polish off a party-sized bag of chips or a container of ice cream, maybe a whole box of cereal. The food she’s eating at these moments hardly matters.
In short order, the nothing that Silverman feels and tastes will give way to nauseating fullness, and a bitter backwash of guilt, shame and self-reproach.
The fullness, in time, passes. But the corrosive shame and self-reproach are always there.
Silverman, a 43-year-old executive assistant from Sherman Oaks, is one of the 145 million Americans who are overweight or obese. But the frenzies of consumption put her in a far smaller category of Americans, not all of whom are even overweight.
Silverman is a binge eater, one who is slowly inching her way toward recovery. She and as many as 1 in 30 Americans — roughly 7.3 million adults — are at the center of a psychiatric debate over whether and how to recognize binge eating as a mental disorder.
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