Night eating syndrome

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Night eating syndrome (NES) is an eating disorder, characterized by a delayed circadian pattern of food intake.[1] Although there is some degree of comorbidity with binge eating disorder,[2] it differs from binge eating in that the amount of food consumed in the evening/night is not necessarily objectively large nor is a loss of control over food intake required. It was originally described by Dr. Albert Stunkard in 1955 [3] and is currently included in the “Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder” category of the DSM-5.[4] Research diagnostic criteria have been proposed[5] and include evening hyperphagia (consumption of 25% or more of the total daily calories after the evening meal) and/or nocturnal awakening and ingestion of food two or more times per week. The person must have awareness of the night eating to differentiate it from the parasomnia sleep-related eating disorder (SRED). Three of five associated symptoms must also be present: lack of morning hunger, urges to eat in the evening/at night, belief that one must eat in order to fall back to sleep at night, depressed mood, and/or difficulty sleeping. NES affects both men and women,[6] between 1 and 2% of the general population,[7] and approximately 10% of obese individuals.[8] The age of onset is typically in early adulthood (spanning from late teenage years to late twenties) and is often long-lasting,[9] with children rarely reporting NES.[10] People with NES have been shown to have higher scores for depression and low self-esteem, and it has been demonstrated that nocturnal levels of the hormones melatonin and leptin are decreased.[11] The relationship between NES and the parasomnia SRED is in need of further clarification. There is debate as to whether these should be viewed as separate diseases, or part of a continuum.[12]

Co-morbidities

NES is sometimes associated with excess weight; as many as 28% of individuals seeking gastric bypass surgery were found to suffer from NES in one study.[13] However, not all individuals with NES are overweight.[11][14] Night eating has been associated with diabetic complications.[15] Many people with NES also experience depressed mood [11][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23] and anxiety disorders.[21][22][24][25]

See also

References

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