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How is night eating syndrome and obesity related?

What is Night Eating Syndrome?

• Night Eating Syndrome is a disorder in which someone consumes most of their daily calorie intake after dinner.
• This leads to frequently waking in the middle of the night to eat.
• Foods eaten are typically unhealthy and high in calories.
• After night eating, a person is not hungry in the morning.
• He or she often does not eat for several hours after waking up.
• Insomnia and sleeping problems are common in those with night eating syndrome.
• Urges to eat in the middle of the night often feel uncontrollable.
• They are triggered by various stress factors such as boredom or extensive dieting.
• Typically, night eating leaves the individual with feelings of guilt, anxiousness and disgust.
• In most cases, those with this syndrome will hide the fact from others.
• Many eating disorder sufferers are too afraid or embarrassed to admit their problem.
• This leaves them trapped forever in their disorder.
• Fortunately, there are now eating disorder treatment clinics where people in need of eating disorder treatment can feel comfortable.
• These eating disorder residential programs are here to provide hope and recovery for men and women with eating disorders.
• The rising prevalence of obesity is a global concern.
• Eating behavior and circadian rhythm are proving to be important factors in the a etiology of obesity.
• The night-eating syndrome (NES) is characterized by increased late-night eating, insomnia, a depressed mood and distress.
• It is evident that prevalence is higher among weight-related populations than the general community.
• The exact relationship between this syndrome and obesity remains unclear.
• NES does not always lead to weight gain.
• Certain individuals may be susceptible to night-eating-related weight gain.
• Weight loss through surgical and behavioral treatments has shown success in diminishing symptoms.
• The increasing literature associating obesity with circadian imbalances strengthens the link between the NES and obesity.
• Circadian genes may play a role in this syndrome.

Triggers for this disorder include:
• Depression
• Extensive dieting
• Boredom
• Anxiety
• Poor self image
• Sleep walking
• Stress

Who has Night Eating Syndrome?

• Approximately 1% of the population suffers from night eating syndrome.
• Other studies have determined that a large percentage of obese individuals have night eating disorders.
• Many people with night eating syndrome are either obese or overweight.
• Typically all are unhappy with their weight.
• Eating disorder treatment centers are available to bring back confidence and a healthy self-image to those with night eating syndrome.

Ten Common Signs of Night Eating Syndrome

• Eating more food after dinner than during the meal.
• Feeling agitated and moody at night.
• Not hungry for breakfast in the morning.
• Waking up frequently at night.
• Unable to sleep.
• Continuously eating during the middle of the night.
• Eating mostly carbohydrates.
• Getting up more than once to eat at night.
• Delaying eating in the morning for several hours.
• Feeling anxious or guilty after eating at night.

Risks/Complications of Night Eating Syndrome

• The physical side effects of night eating syndrome are similar to those of compulsive eaters.
• These eating disorders can both be treated at various eating disorder residential centers.
Risks of night eating syndrome include:
• Low self-esteem
• Guilt, anxiousness
• Obesity

Overcoming Night Eating Syndrome Night Eating Syndrome Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life

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