Midnight Snacking - An Eating Disorder

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Midnight snacking is a disorder


It’s been found that some people  often visit their fridge or cupboard at midnight to snack on something. This midnight snacking was thought to be indulgence but a recent study by the doctors at Sion hospital have indicated that midnight snacking is a disorder which if not controlled may lead to many diseases. The urge of eating at midnight is so strong in people suffering from this disorder that they are not able to control it. They often snack on sweets and oily food, which later on becomes the root cause of complications like diabetes, tooth decay, arthritis, obesity and obesity related problems. This disorder is also been termed as Night Eating Syndrome.


Signs And Behavior Of People Prone To Midnight Snacking


  • In their study, doctors found that people who tend to eat at midnight often suffers with morning anorexia which is the most common eating disorder found in today’s generation. The sufferer generally skips breakfast and progressively feels hungrier as night sets in.  

  • Signs of melancholy during evening are often noticed in the sufferer.

  • People having the habit of eating at midnight consume at least 25% of their calories after dinner.

  • This late night binging is mostly carbohydrate based and spread over several hours throughout the night.  

  • A disturbed sleep pattern is another major symptom found in people who have a habit of eating at midnight. With an average of two times, they go for night walks. They experience a strong urge to eat for a sound sleep.

  • Tendency to binge in the evening and at midnight typically brings guilt in the sufferer. They often suffer with depression, anxiety and are very much disturbed as they become obese.


Recurrent late night binging affects both the sexes and people of all age group though it is most commonly found in young women who have low esteem and self confidence levels. It has been demonstrated that eating at midnight is associated with low nocturnal levels of hormones melatonin and leptin. Awareness about this disorder is very low, but it should not be overlooked as it can be problematic for health. If effective treatment plan is followed, one can control the situation and get rid of midnight snacking habit.


Image Credit: nydailynews.com 

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