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Keywords:

  • night eating syndrome;
  • binge eating disorder;
  • obesity

Abstract

Objective

The present study was designed to examine the psychological and behavioral characteristics associated with both night eating syndrome (NES) and binge eating disorder (BED) in 42 males and 41 females who were enrolled in a university-based weight loss center.

Method

Individuals were classified into one of four groups: NES only (N = 23), BED only (N = 13), both NES and BED (N = 13), or no diagnoses of an eating disorder (N = 34). Analyses of covariance (covarying for age and gender) were conducted to compare patients with BED and NES.

Results

NES patients scored lower on disinhibition than BED patients (p < .01). Also, individuals who met criteria for both disorders scored higher than NES only patients on state anxiety (p < .01), disinhibition (p = .08), and trait anxiety (p = .08).

Discussion

These results suggest that NES represents a subcategory among the obese, which also overlaps with binge eaters. In addition, anxiety distinguished individuals who met criteria for both disorders from patients who were diagnosed with either NES or BED. © 2001 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 30: 193–203, 2001.