Night eating syndrome in young adult women: Prevalence and correlates

Authors


Abstract

Objective

The current study examined the prevalence and clinical significance of night eating syndrome (NES) in a community cohort of Black and White women.

Method

We assessed 682 Black and 659 White women for NES, eating disorders, and psychiatric symptomatology.

Results

The prevalence was 1.6% (22 of 1,341; Blacks [n = 20]; Whites [n = 2]). Comparisons between identified Black women and the remaining Black participants revealed no significant differences in obesity, psychiatric comorbidity, or self-reported psychiatric distress. Comorbidity with eating disorders as outlined in the 4th ed. of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association) was low (n = 1 [4.5%]). Black NES women were significantly less likely than Black non-NES women to be overweight and significantly more likely to have two or more children.

Discussion

NES was rare in this sample of young women. Low comorbidity of NES with other eating disorders suggests that NES may be distinct from the DSM-IV recognized eating disorders. Longitudinal data are needed to determine the long-term health implications of this behavioral pattern. © 2005 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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