Evening hyperphagia (EH; consumption of ≥. 25% of total daily calories after the evening meal) is a circadian delay in the pattern of daily food intake and is a core criterion of night eating syndrome (Allison et al., 2010). This preliminary study examined the brain response to food cues using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in seven obese adults with EH compared to seven obese adults without EH. When contrasting food to non-food and blurry baseline images pre-meal, groups differed in brain activation in the inferior frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus, cingulate gyrus, superior temporal gyrus and cerebellum. At post meal, groups differed in brain activation in the fusiform gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule and the cerebellum. Significant interactions between time (pre-meal, post-meal) and group (EH, control) when contrasting food to non-food images were also noted in the inferior frontal gyrus and the superior temporal gyrus. Further research is necessary to replicate these findings and determine if they have a mechanistic role in the development of circadian delayed eating behavior in obese adults with EH.
- Evening hyperphagia
- Food motivation
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging
- Inferior frontal gyrus
- Neural mechanisms