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Night eating syndrome in obesity

  • G. Marchesini
  • S. Calugi
  • R. Marzocchi
  • R. Dalle Grave
Chapter
Part of the Human Health Handbooks book series (HHH, volume 3)

Abstract

Night eating syndrome is an eating disorder characterized by a delay in the circadian timing of food intake, which is remarkably reduced during the first part of the day and greatly increased after dinner, frequently with awakenings characterized by nocturnal food ingestion and morning anorexia. In the absence of standard diagnostic criteria, its prevalence is difficult to estimate. According to the most agreed criteria, the disorder affects approximately 1.5 % of the general population, it is more common among obese persons and the prevalence increases with increasing adiposity. Longitudinal studies with adequate follow-up are needed to determine whether night eating contributes to weight gain and the development of obesity. The research should also aim to assess the interaction of genetic and environmental processes in the pathogenesis and in the maintenance of the disorder. There is no satisfactory treatment of night eating. Limited information is available on drug treatment (sertraline, topiramate). Lifestyle modifications aimed at weight loss are standard treatment whenever night eating is associated with obesity and have demonstrated a favorable effect, but more research is needed also in this area to optimize the protocols.

Keywords

diet food intake behavior therapy night eating 

Abbreviations

BED

Binge eating disorder

BMI

Body mass index

CBT

Cognitive-behavioral treatment

NES

Night eating syndrome

NEQ

Night eating questionnaire

NESHI

Night eating syndrome history and inventory

SRED

Sleep-related eating disorder

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Copyright information

© Wageningen Academic Publishers 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Marchesini
    • 1
  • S. Calugi
    • 2
  • R. Marzocchi
    • 1
  • R. Dalle Grave
    • 2
  1. 1.Unit of Metabolic Diseases and Clinical Dietetics‘Alma Mater Studiorum’ UniversityBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Eating and Weight DisordersVilla Garda HospitalGardaItaly

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