Caribbean Journal of Psychology: Vol. 11, Issue 2, 2019

Article 1
Binge Eating Disorder: Identification and Treatment Up-dates for Medical Professionals in the Caribbean

Melissa Freizinger
Michael Tsappis
Sara F. Forman
Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston


This current article provides an overview of the recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder (BED) by presenting diagnostic criteria, associated risk factors and comorbidities, and tools for assessment. BED is a distinct psychiatric diagnosis presenting with medical complaints, and is a relatively new diagnosis that may be unfamiliar to some non-mental health professionals, including those in the Caribbean. Due to the advent of social media and transnational tourism, the once stable body image of Caribbean women is believed to be changing and may be a factor in the increase of eating disorders in the region. This article discusses the difference between emotional eating, obesity, and BED. BED is common and may present as subclinical in younger children and adolescents. Availability of diagnostic criteria along with increasing clinical knowledge about BED should result in improved identification and treatment in adults as well as younger patients. A brief update on the available evidence-based treatments including medication for BED is provided to help with assessment and coordination of treatment planning for BED.