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Optimal management of night eating syndrome: challenges and solutions

Authors Kucukgoncu S, Midura M, Tek C

Received 26 January 2015

Accepted for publication 21 February 2015

Published 19 March 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 751—760

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S70312

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Suat Kucukgoncu, Margaretta Midura, Cenk Tek

Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

Abstract: Night Eating Syndrome (NES) is a unique disorder characterized by a delayed pattern of food intake in which recurrent episodes of nocturnal eating and/or excessive food consumption occur after the evening meal. NES is a clinically important disorder due to its relationship to obesity, its association with other psychiatric disorders, and problems concerning sleep. However, NES often goes unrecognized by both health professionals and patients. The lack of knowledge regarding NES in clinical settings may lead to inadequate diagnoses and inappropriate treatment approaches. Therefore, the proper diagnosis of NES is the most important issue when identifying NES and providing treatment for this disorder. Clinical assessment tools such as the Night Eating Questionnaire may help health professionals working with populations vulnerable to NES. Although NES treatment studies are still in their infancy, antidepressant treatments and psychological therapies can be used for optimal management of patients with NES. Other treatment options such as melatonergic medications, light therapy, and the anticonvulsant topiramate also hold promise as future treatment options. The purpose of this review is to provide a summary of NES, including its diagnosis, comorbidities, and treatment approaches. Possible challenges addressing patients with NES and management options are also discussed.

Keywords: night eating, obesity, psychiatric disorders, weight, depression

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