Night eating syndrome

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Night eating syndrome
Classification and external resources
Specialty Psychiatry
ICD-9-CM 307.59

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,[1] 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 [2] and is currently included in the other specified feeding or eating disorder category of the DSM-5.[3] Research diagnostic criteria have been proposed[1] 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,[4] between 1 and 2% of the general population,[5] and approximately 10% of obese individuals.[6] The age of onset is typically in early adulthood (spanning from late teenage years to late twenties) and is often long-lasting,[7] with children rarely reporting NES.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] Consuming foods rich in serotonin has been suggested to aid in the treatment of NES.[11]


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.[12] However, not all individuals with NES are overweight.[9][13] Night eating has been associated with diabetic complications.[14] Many people with NES also experience depressed mood [9][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] and anxiety disorders.[20][21][23][24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Allison; et al. (2010). "Proposed Diagnostic Criteria for Night Eating Syndrome". International Journal of Eating Disorders 43: 241–247. doi:10.1002/eat.20693. PMC 4531092. PMID 19378289. 
  2. ^ Stunkard A.J., Grace W.J., Wolff H.G. (1955). "The night-eating syndrome; a pattern of food intake among certain obese patients". The American Journal of Medicine 19: 78–86. doi:10.1016/0002-9343(55)90276-X. PMID 14388031. 
  3. ^ American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
  4. ^ Striegel-Moore R.H., Franko D.L., Thompson D., Affenito S., Kraemer H.C. (2006). "Night eating: Prevalence and demographic correlates". Obesity 14: 139–147. doi:10.1038/oby.2006.17. PMID 16493132. 
  5. ^ Rand C.S.W., Macgregor M.D., Stunkard A.J. (1997). "The night eating syndrome in the general population and amongst post-operative obesity surgery patients". International Journal of Eating Disorders 22: 65–69. doi:10.1002/(sici)1098-108x(199707)22:1<65::aid-eat8>;2-0. PMID 9140737. 
  6. ^ Stunkard A.J., Berkowitz R., Wadden T., Tanrikut C., Reiss E., Young L. (1996). "Binge eating disorder and the night-eating syndrome". International Journal of Obesity 20: 1–6. PMID 8788315. 
  7. ^ Wal Jillon S. Vander (2012). "Night eating syndrome: A critical review of the literature". Clinical Psychology Review 32 (1): 49–59. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2011.11.001. PMID 22142838. 
  8. ^ Lundgren J.D., Drapeau V., Allison K.C., Gallant A.R., Tremblay A., Lambert M.A., Stunkard A.J. (2012). "Prevalence and familial patterns of night eating in the Quebec adipose and lifestyle investigation in youth (QUALITY) study". Obesity 20: 1598–1603. doi:10.1038/oby.2012.80. PMID 22469955. 
  9. ^ a b c Birketvedt G., Florholmen J., Sundsfjord J., Østerud B., Dinges D., Bilker W., Stunkard A.J. (1999). "Behavioral and neuroendocrine characteristics of the night-eating syndrome". Journal of the American Medical Association 282: 657–663. doi:10.1001/jama.282.7.657. PMID 10517719. 
  10. ^ Auger R.R. (2006). "Sleep-related eating disorders". Psychiatry 3: 64–70. 
  11. ^ Shoar S., Shoar N., Khorgami Z., Shahabuddin Hoseini S., Naderan M. (2012). "Prophylactic diet: A treatment for night eating syndrome". Hypothesis 10 (1): e5. doi:10.5779/hypothesis.v10i1.241. 
  12. ^ O'Reardon J.P., Stunkard A.J., Allison K.C. (2004). "Clinical trial of sertraline in the treatment of night eating syndrome". International Journal of Eating Disorders 35: 16–26. doi:10.1002/eat.10224. PMID 14705153. 
  13. ^ Lundgren J.D., Shapiro J.R., Bulik C.M. (2008). "Night eating patterns of patients with bulimia nervosa: a preliminary report". Eating and Weight Disorders: Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia, and Obesity 13: 171–175. doi:10.1007/bf03327503. 
  14. ^ Morse S.A., Ciechanowski P.S., Katon W.J., Hirsch I.B. (2006). "Isn't this just bedtime snacking? The potential adverse effects of night-eating symptoms on treatment adherence and outcomes in patients with diabetes". Diabetes Care 29: 1800–1804. doi:10.2337/dc06-0315. PMID 16873783. 
  15. ^ Gluck M.E., Geliebter A., Satoy T. (2001). "Night eating syndrome is associated with depression, low self-esteem, reduced daytime hunger, and less weight loss in obese patients". Obesity Research 9: 264–267. doi:10.1038/oby.2001.31. PMID 11331430. 
  16. ^ Calugi S., Grave R.D., Marchesini G. (2009). "Night eating syndrome in class II-III obesity: Metabolic and psychopathological features". International Journal of Obesity 33: 899–904. doi:10.1038/ijo.2009.105. PMID 19506562. 
  17. ^ Boseck J.J., Engel S.G., Allison K.C., Crosby R.D., Mitchell J.E., de Zwaan M. (2007). "The application of ecological momentary assessment to the study of night eating". International Journal of Eating Disorders 40: 271–276. doi:10.1002/eat.20359. PMID 17177212. 
  18. ^ Allison K.C., Ahima R.S., O'Reardon J.P., Dinges D.F., Sharma V., Cummings D.E., Stunkard A.J. (2005). "Neuroendocrine profiles associated with energy intake, sleep, and stress in the night eating syndrome". Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 9: 6214–6217. 
  19. ^ Striegel-Moore R.H., Franko D.L., Thompson D., Affenito S., May A., Kraemer H.C. (2008). "Exploring the typology of night eating syndrome". International Journal of Eating Disorders 41: 411–418. doi:10.1002/eat.20514. PMID 18306340. 
  20. ^ a b De Zwaan M., Roerig D.B., Crosby R.D., Karaz S., Mitchell J.E. (2006). "Nighttime eating: a descriptive study". International Journal of Eating Disorders 39: 224–232. doi:10.1002/eat.20246. PMID 16511835. 
  21. ^ a b Lundgren J.D., Allison K.C., O'Reardon J.P., Stunkard A.J. (2008). "A descriptive study of non-obese persons with night eating syndrome and a weight-matched comparison group". Eating Behaviors 9: 343–351. doi:10.1016/j.eatbeh.2007.12.004. PMC 2536488. PMID 18549994. 
  22. ^ Thompson S.H., DeBate R.D. (2010). "An exploratory study of the relationship between night eating syndrome and depression among college students". Journal of College Student Psychotherapy 24: 39–48. doi:10.1080/87568220903400161. 
  23. ^ Sassaroli S., Ruggiero G.M., Vinai P., Cardetti S., Carpegna G., Ferrato N., Sampietro S. (2009). "Daily and nightly anxiety amongst patients affected by night eating syndrome and binge eating disorder". Eating Disorders 17: 140–145. doi:10.1080/10640260802714597. PMID 19242843. 
  24. ^ Napolitano M.A., Head S., Babyak M.A., Blumenthal J.A. (2001). "Binge eating disorder and night eating syndrome: psychological and behavioral characteristics". International Journal of Eating Disorders 30: 193–203. doi:10.1002/eat.1072. PMID 11449453.