Binge eating is a consequence of semistarvation in victims of war and famine and in volunteers in rare semistarvation experiments. These behaviors include bizarre mixing of ingredients and adulteration of food; eating inappropriate, soiled, or discarded food; secrecy; deception; and defensiveness. Drastic measures to resist overeating persist long after the semistarvation experience, even when food is plentiful. Binge eating, a central feature of bulimia and sometimes of anorexia nervosa, is prevalent in modern society, but the occurrence and frequency of semistarvation-related behaviors have not been well identified or quantified. A Semistarvation-Associated Behaviors Scale was constructed and administered to 40 college students. Among binge eaters, reports of bizarre semistarvation-like behaviors were common and frequent and were associated with dieting. © 1999 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.