Obesity and binge eating disorder are common comorbid conditions. Research documents that obese individuals who binge eat have more psychopathology than do obese people who do not binge eat, but theoretical explanations for this relationship are scarce. A model is proposed that integrates the robust self-concept differences between obese people with and without binge eating disorder into our understanding of the relationships between obesity, binge eating, and psychopathology. The model characterizes binge eating as one of an array of behavioral responses, which also include weight loss, dieting, and social withdrawal, that help buffer psychological distress. Some clinical implications of the model are discussed.