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Eat Behav. 2008 Aug;9(3):343-51. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2007.12.004. Epub 2008 Jan 12.

A descriptive study of non-obese persons with night eating syndrome and a weight-matched comparison group.

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  • 1University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 3535 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The purpose of this study was to characterize the Night Eating Syndrome (NES) and its correlates among non-obese persons with NES, and to compare them to non-obese healthy controls. Nineteen non-obese persons with NES were compared to 22 non-obese controls on seven-day, 24-hour prospective food and sleep diaries, the Eating Disorder Examination and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Diagnoses interviews, and measures of disordered eating attitudes and behavior, mood, sleep, stress, and quality of life. Compared to controls, persons with NES reported significantly different circadian distribution of food intake, greater depressed mood, sleep disturbance, disordered eating and body image concerns, perceived stress, decreased quality of life, and more frequent Axis I comorbidity, specifically anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders. These findings are the first to describe the clinical significance of night eating syndrome among non-obese individuals in comparison to a non-obese control group, and they suggest that NES has negative health implications beyond that associated with obesity.

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