The purpose of this experimental investigation was to test the hypothesis that negative affective states trigger disinhibited eating in the form of binge eating in subjects with binge eating disorder (BED). Method: BED subjects and weight-matched non-eating disordered subjects (NED) attended a laboratory experiment during which they were randomly assigned to a negative or a neutral mood induction procedure prior to being served a multi-item buffet. The dependent variable of interest was postmood induction carolic intake. Results: There were no significant differences in caloric intake between subjects in the negative and neutral mood conditions. However, negative affect was associated with eating episodes labeled binges, and associated with loss of control. Discussion: Our findings suggest that mood may be an important factor that discriminates overeating and binge eating. © 1996 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.