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Night-Eating Syndrome and Depressive Symptoms in College Freshmen: Fitness Improvement Tactics in Youths (FITYou) Project

Authors Guo F, Tian Y, Cui Y, Huang C

Received 9 October 2019

Accepted for publication 5 February 2020

Published 24 February 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 185—191

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S234025

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman


Feng Guo,1 Ying Tian,2 Yufei Cui,1 Cong Huang3,4

1Institute of Exercise Epidemiology and Department of Physical Education, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huai’an, People’s Republic of China; 2College of Sports Science, Shenyang Normal University, Shenyang, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Sports and Exercise Science, College of Education, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan

Correspondence: Feng Guo
Institute of Exercise Epidemiology and Department of Physical Education, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huai’an 223003, People’s Republic of China
Email kakuhoulove@hotmail.com
Cong Huang
Department of Sports and Exercise Science, College of Education, Zhejiang University, 148 Tianmushan Road, Hangzhou 310007, People’s Republic of China
Email cohuang@zju.edu.cn

Background: Emerging evidence has shown that night-eating syndrome is correlated to depressive symptoms. However, these studies were mainly small-scale investigations.
Purpose: This study aimed to examine the association of night-eating syndrome with depressive symptoms among college students using a large-scale sample.
Methods: A cross-sectional study, which was a part of the Fitness Improvement Tactics in Youth Project, was conducted in 2017. The current study included 3278 college freshmen from Shenyang, China. They completed self-administered questionnaires and provided their sociodemographic and lifestyle information. Night-eating syndrome was assessed using the night-eating questionnaire (NEQ). Depressive symptoms were measured using the Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS).
Results: Of participants, 5.4% had night-eating syndrome (NEQ score ≥ 30), and 21.3% had depressive symptoms (SDS score ≥ 53). Prevalence of night-eating syndrome was higher in male than female students (p = 0.006). Logistic regression analysis indicated that students with night-eating syndrome had a higher prevalence of depressive symptoms than those without the syndrome after adjusting covariates (odds ratios [95% CI]: 3.28 [2.40, 4.48], p < 0.001). Consistent results were found when night-eating syndrome was defined as NEQ score ≥ 25. In addition, analysis of covariance showed a significant association between NEQ quartiles and SDS score (mean [95% CI]: Q1, 44.4 [43.8, 45.0]; Q2, 43.4 [42.7, 44.0]; Q3, 44.4 [43.7, 45.1]; Q4, 47.5 [46.9, 48.2], p < 0.001 for linear and quadratic trend).
Conclusion: This study showed an association between night-eating syndrome and depressive symptoms among Chinese college freshmen.

Keywords: night eating, eating behaviors, depressive symptoms, college students, youth

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