Saint Louis University to investigate night eating syndrome

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 | 7:19 a.m. CDT; updated 2:38 p.m. CDT, Monday, September 24, 2012

ST. LOUIS — Saint Louis University researchers are looking into what causes some people to wake up at night and eat, often consuming excessive amounts of food.

The university's Department of Psychology is seeking participants for a study into night eating syndrome. Participants must be 18 to 65 without additional serious medical conditions. They also can't be pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the next six months, and not seriously overweight or actively dieting.

The syndrome typically develops in early adulthood and is worsened by stress. Researchers say those with the syndrome might struggle with eating disorders, sleep disorders, weight gain and depression.

Lead investigator Jillon Vander Wal said the syndrome tends to run in families, indicating a possible genetic predisposition.

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