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Medical News & Perspectives
September 17, 2003

All Night Diners

JAMA. 2003;290(11):1442. doi:10.1001/jama.290.11.1442

Chicago—Individuals with night eating syndrome (NES) rise from their beds once or twice a night to snack, consuming one third or more of their daily food intake after their evening meal. Stress usually triggers such behavior, says psychiatrist Albert Stunkard, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, who first described it nearly 50 years ago (Am J Med. 1955;19:78-86).

NES may develop in individuals whose weight is normal—at least initially. An estimated 7% of patients in obesity clinics, and 27% of those seeking bariatric surgery have NES, Stunkard said in an interview.