Night eating linked to psychiatric patient

January 2, 2006

Night eating syndrome is a common disorder among psychiatric outpatients that is associated with substance use and obesity, says a U.S. study.

Night eating syndrome is a condition that is characterized by two main features: excessive eating in the evening -- hyperphagia -- and nocturnal awakening with ingestion of food. Its prevalence has been estimated to be 1.5 percent in the general population and 8.9 percent in an obesity clinic.

"This is the first study that looks at the connection between psychiatric conditions and night eating syndrome," said lead author Jennifer D. Lundgren of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Night eating syndrome is often associated with life stress and depression, so we were particularly interested in looking at the prevalence of the condition in this population."

The findings, by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the University of Minnesota, are published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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