Night Eating Syndrome in Young Adult Women: Prevalence and Correlates

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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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