Night eating syndrome: Evaluation of two screening instruments

Jillon S. Vander Wal, Sandia M. Waller, David M. Klurfeld, Michael I. McBurney, Nikhil V. Dhurandhar

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20 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study was to determine whether night eating syndrome was associated with treatment outcomes during a brief weight loss intervention for self-identified night snackers, and to evaluate the diagnostic utility of a screening question and the Night Eating Syndrome Questionnaire (NESQ) for the detection of night eating syndrome. Participants enrolled in a 4-week randomized clinical trial for obese and overweight persons who self-identified as night snackers were administered a structured clinical interview, a night eating screening question, and the NESQ. Treatment outcomes included adherence and weight loss. Results showed that night eating syndrome diagnoses were not associated with treatment outcomes. The screening question had adequate sensitivity but poor specificity. The night eating questionnaire was positively correlated with increasingly stringent definitions of night eating syndrome. Night eating syndrome is not the equivalent of night snacking. The definition of night eating syndrome must be expanded to include a sleep disturbance component accompanied by night eating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalEating Behaviors
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Adherence
  • Night eating syndrome
  • Night snacking
  • Obesity
  • Weight loss


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