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Overcoming Binge Eating, First Edition Paperback – March 10, 1995

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 247 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; Reissue edition (March 10, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898621798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898621792
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Scientific American

Christopher Fairburn is one of the world's foremost authorities on problem eating. Because he is one of those rare individuals who understands and can work with people, but is also a top-flight researcher, his book offers state-of-the-art, helpful information, written in a caring way. You can trust this book. It is a landmark in the field. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From The New Yorker

An urgently needed source of information, this authoritative book presents the facts about binge eating and offers concrete solutions to help overcome it. This book is a must read for binge eaters and their families. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I'm glad I heard about this book and bought it.
I find it an easy well written read and a lot more informative than I thought it would be.
Jason B.
For me, this book is a very sensible approach for me to tackle my binge eating problem.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

324 of 333 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a binge eater since high school, I've tried many diets, starting over 30 yrs ago in college with the Scarsdale Diet. Later tried Atkins, the Zone, Ornish, not to mention the grapefruit, ice cream, and peanut butter diets and many others. I ordered diet pills from TV and spent untold hours in therapy trying to understand the "why" behind my binge eating. Some strategies helped me lose weight temporarily, but the pounds kept coming back--and the binging never really stopped.
The older I got, the harder it was to get back to a healthy weight. A couple of years ago, I had significant success with the Weight Watcher program--got to my goal weight relatively quickly, but even while on the program I was binging, though on lower-fat foods. Eventually the binges became more frequent, I went back to old favorites, and my weight began creeping up. I like the WW program but have become convinced that my ability to maintain a healthy and stable weight in the long run depends on reducing my binge eating. Since WW doesn't provide much insight/help with binging per se, I started looking for other sources and found this book. It's been a godsend.
The background information is clearly presented and helpful. Fairburn's analysis of the relationship between dieting and binge eating is especially interesting--a must read for anyone who has tried dieting as a means of controlling binge-induced weight gains. The step-by-step process for reducing binge eating and establishing a healthier attitude toward food and body weight is grounded in solid research--and it works. I could understand the rationale behind the approach Fairburn recommends, was making progress in only a few weeks, and achieved a signficant reduction in binge eating soon after.
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134 of 141 people found the following review helpful By L. Griggs on May 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
One year ago, I purchased this book out of pure desperation. I got a real scare when my Aunt died suddenly from complications of Binge Eating Disorder.I had the same problem and was going downhill fast. This book saved me from trying and failing at yet another diet. No matter how "healthy" the diets were that I've tried to control my binge-eating and resulting obesity, nothing worked. Not only did they not work, they were making me sicker both physically and emotionally. I'm a lifetime member of Weight Watchers and only way I every got to my "goal" weight was by starving more than bingeing.
Diets for me are like putting a bandaid over a gunshot wound. Under the bandaid is a oozing infected emotional wound that no diet or foodplan can ever fix. Dr. Christopher Fairburn not only understands the reasoning behind this, he tells you what you can do to help yourself recovery from this devastating disease. Dr. Fairburn even understands that many Overeaters Anonymous groups have misguided ideas of abstinence that are really no better (and perhaps even worse) than dieting.
This book is mostly directed for bulimics and binge-eaters. It could help anorexics but there are probably better books that devote more to anorexics directly.
Two things about me that have radically changed since I read this book: #1)My goal weight is now a healthy and realistic weight #2)I've lost a significant amount of weight without bingeing or starving.
This book has profoundly changed my life!
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201 of 226 people found the following review helpful By wild arkie on March 4, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book does offer some helpful suggestions, such as establishing a regular eating schedule, keeping track of what you eat and finding alternatives to bingeing. But I found its explanations unsatisfying on the answers to pertinent questions such as, "What causes bingeing?" The author talks about factors like gender and social class and the prevalence of dieting, but I was looking for an explanation on the physiological level, which this book does not provide.

Fairburn also dismisses the idea of carbohydrate craving as a "myth," and mentions a colleague's research that proposes fat, not carbohydrate, as the substance that binge eaters actually go for. Well, if that were true, then why don't binge eaters eat a pound of butter or drink olive oil when they binge? As a former binge eater, I can tell you that I have never done that. In fact, I have never binged on anything that was not full of simple carbohydrates such as sugar or white flour. But I have binged on lots of stuff that had no fat. I find this author to be too dismissive of a phenomenon that many people have experienced. It's like going to the doctor and having him or her tell you "it's all in your head."

The author also dismisses the idea that there is such a thing as food addiction by attempting to refute the statements of Overeaters Anonymous. Now, I have been to OA and, while the group support can be helpful, the overall approach is a failure. The OA Board itself has held meetings to try to figure out why the 12-step approach doesn't have a greater success rate with binge eaters. But Fairburn marries the concept of food addiction with OA and, through convoluted and not entirely convincing arguments, throws them both out. And we've all heard that story of the baby and the bathwater.
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