Overeating is the excess food 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 sometimes be a symptom of binge eating disorder or bulimia.
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.
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.