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Eat Weight Disord. 1997 Dec;2(4):203-6.

Night eating syndrome in individuals with Mediterranean eating-style.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Discipline Chirurgiche e Metodologie Integrate, Universit√† di Genova, Italy.


Night eating syndrome is identified with no appetite for breakfast, 50% or more of food intake after 7 p.m. and trouble getting to sleep and/or staying asleep. In a population with a Mediterranean eating style more than 25% of lean healthy subjects should be considered as affected by night eating syndrome, thus making the definition criteria and even the syndrome itself clinically meaningless. Therefore, to assess the presence of night eating syndrome in a population with Mediterranean eating and lifestyle, the following definition criteria were employed: no food or only a little food for breakfast, sleep disturbances and usual consumption of some food just before going to sleep or waking up during sleeptime. According to these criteria, 3.5% of lean subjects should be considered as affected by night eating syndrome, without any relationship between reported psychological distress or tendency to lose control over food intake. Further studies in populations with Mediterranean eating style are mandatory to assess the true clinical significance of night eating syndrome.

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