Does Watching Television Cause Binge Eating? | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Does Watching Television Cause Binge Eating?

Though binge eating can be linked to a variety of factors, like depression, a new study shows that television plays a vital role.



By Paul Gaita


| Share

A recent study has found that binge eaters may experience more episodes of compulsive eating while watching television.

The findings, published in the January 2014 issue of Eating Behaviors, notes that individuals whose attempts to lose weight are thwarted by binge eating—that is, repeated periods of excessive overeating followed  by feelings of shame and guilt, though usually without the purging elements common to bulimia—may find that television viewing may predict such behaviors.

Though the disorder can also be linked to a variety of factors including depression, internalized weight stigma and decreased body satisfaction, the study notes that the amount of television viewed per week was a significant predictor for binge eating among the participants in the program—all adults in group-based weight loss programs. How much television can bring on a binge eating episode? According to the National Weight Loss Control Registry, most people who are able to both lose weight and keep it off watch less than 10 hours per week. By comparison, the average American is cited as watching nearly 39 hours of television each week.

The online health and fitness site provides a list of seven tips to help individuals experiencing binge eating disorder. Among their suggestions: remove all distractions, including television, while eating. Such distractions help to make binge eaters “disinhibited” from their meals—they stop thinking about the amount of food they are consuming, or how it makes them feel (or will make them feel). Focusing solely on the meal itself often helps binge eaters become aware of how much food they are actually consuming, and in turn, provides greater awareness of binge eating patterns.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Suboxone: Trading One Prison Cell for Another

Suboxone seemed like a get-out-of-jail-free card, the answer to my opiate addiction. Instead, I had a new ten-year addiction, complete with thinning hair and lost motivation.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv