That is what she is saying. She is saying binging is not binging as we know it, and just extreme hunger (or reactive eating) from previous starvation. She is invalidating binging as we know it. She continues to write an entire article continuing from that stance. She does not speak about binging as eating ravenously even when not hungry, which is the collectively-agreed upon definition. One will conclude that because she did not speak about the latter and only the former, she thinks there is no such thing as “true” binging.
My understanding is that she’s saying that binge eating following a period of restriction is not the same thing as binge eating without restriction. Gwyneth is arguing, largely on the basis of Stunkard’s research as far as I can tell, that binge eating in the absence of restriction may be a symptom of another problem. That doesn’t invalidate it. I don’t see how that suggests it is not “true” bingeing (whatever that means, what’s true bingeing?).
And who decided that binge eating even when not hungry is the collectively-agreed upon definition? Who is this collective? It is not the definition that the American Psychiatric Association agrees upon.
eating, during a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2 hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time under similar circumstances
It says nothing about levels of hunger prior to the episode.
This is Gwyneth’s argument:
One researcher at the forefront of BED and night eating syndrome (NES) is Albert Stunkard. His research indicates that BED not only is rare but also is likely a marker of other psychopathological disorders and not a distinct disorder in and of itself.
Unfortunately both BED and NES are being identified and diagnostically defined through the observation of measurable symptoms and self-reported questionnaire responses, rather than determining what, if any, neuroendocrine genotypes may underpin these unrelated conditions.
Both are defined in the appendices of the DSM-IV but must be classified as ED-NOS for the purpose of diagnosing patients at present.
Stunkard may be on the right track but rather than being markers of psychopathology, both BED and NES may actually be markers for endocrine disorders.
Bingeing in the true clinical sense only occurs for the tiny group suffering what appear to be rare circadian rhythm and endocrine disorders that result in binge eating disorder or night eating syndrome.
I (still) haven’t read Stunkard’s papers, and so it is hard for me to comment on all of this per se — I simply can’t critique it because I haven’t personally evaluated the evidence as I don’t read much about BED/NES at all, but to me, none of this suggests that she says it doesn’t exist — just that it is rarer than we think — and that it may be a symptom of another issue. That’s, as far as I can tell, her argument. I am not commenting on whether or not I agree with it. I haven’t read Stunkard’s papers, for one. I just don’t think this invalidates binge eating.
Interesting, NES does appear to be a circadian disorder (at least in part) (see here).
To me, that doesn’t invalidate binge eating as a thing. Or binge eating in the absence of restriction. Or the psychological distress that any kind of binge eating causes to the sufferer.