The clinical significance of diagnosing the night eating syndrome (NES) in obese individuals has not been clearly demonstrated. We aimed to test the effect of NES on weight loss outcome in obesity.
In an observational case-control study, we measured weight loss outcome in obese individuals with NES (32 cases) and 68 non-NES matched participants entering a weight-loss program. The diagnosis of NES was generated by a two-stage assessment, including the Night Eating Questionnaire (screening test) and the Night Eating Syndrome History and Inventory. The program included a 21-day inpatient treatment based on a low-calorie diet, exercise, and psycho-educational groups, followed by a 6-month outpatient follow-up. Body weight, metabolic parameters, and questionnaires of psychopathology were assessed at baseline, at the end of the inpatient period and at the end of follow-up.
NES participants were only characterized by significantly higher scores of the Beck Depression Inventory and the Night Eating Questionnaire. The time course of weight loss did not differ between groups throughout the study period. Only eight NES participants were still classified as NES at study end.
The presence of NES does not affect weight loss outcome of an obesity treatment based on lifestyle modification.
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