Preliminary validation of the Yale Food Addiction Scale

Yale University, 2 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
Appetite (Impact Factor: 2.69). 04/2009; 52(2):430-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2008.12.003
Source: PubMed


Previous research has found similarities between addiction to psychoactive substances and excessive food consumption. Further exploration is needed to evaluate the concept of "food addiction," as there is currently a lack of psychometrically validated measurement tools in this area. The current study represents a preliminary exploration of the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS), designed to identify those exhibiting signs of addiction towards certain types of foods (e.g., high fat and high sugar). Survey data were collected from 353 respondents from a stratified random sample of young adults. In addition to the YFAS, the survey assessed eating pathology, alcohol consumption and other health behaviors. The YFAS exhibited adequate internal reliability, and showed good convergent validity with measures of similar constructs and good discriminant validity relative to related but dissimilar constructs. Additionally, the YFAS predicted binge-eating behavior above and beyond existing measures of eating pathology, demonstrating incremental validity. The YFAS is a sound tool for identifying eating patterns that are similar to behaviors seen in classic areas of addiction. Further evaluation of the scale is needed, especially due to a low response rate of 24.5% and a non-clinical sample, but confirmation of the reliability and validity of the scale has the potential to facilitate empirical research on the concept of "food addiction".

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Available from: William Corbin, Oct 07, 2015
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    • "variable score for the number of diagnostic criteria met ranging between 0 and 7, with higher scores indicating a larger number of DSMIV criteria met and a greater tendency to lose control over ones eating behaviour. The symptom count is often employed in community samples as 'food addiction' diagnosis has relatively low prevalence in this population (Gearhardt et al., 2009). For the current analysis, a continuous sum-score for the active items (n ¼ 3 items are 'primer' items and not intended to be included in the total score) was calculated instead, in order for the scale to be directly comparable to the other scales. "
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    ABSTRACT: Self-report measures of dietary restraint, disinhibited eating, hedonic response to food and loss of control over eating have been related to overeating, overweight and obesity. Impulsivity has emerged as a potential moderator in this relationship. However, the exact relationship between these measures and obesity is poorly defined. Self-report data was collected from a student and community based sample (N=496) of males (N=104) and females, with a wide age (18-73yrs; M=27.41) and BMI (15.3-43.6; M=24.2) range. Principle component analysis was used to explore the underlying structure of the sub-scales from a variety of eating behaviour questionnaires. Two emergent components relating to 'dietary restriction' and 'food reward responsivity' were supported in the analysis. Food reward responsivity component scores positively predicted BMI, but this relationship was moderated by impulsiveness. Dietary restriction component scores positively predicted BMI but were not moderated by impulsiveness. These findings suggest that frequently used eating behaviour measures can be reduced to two underlying components. Food reward responsivity positively predicts BMI, but only when impulsiveness is also high, supporting a dual-system approach where both bottom-up food reward drives and top-down impulse control are associated with overweight and obesity. Dietary restriction is an independent, positive predictor of BMI and is likely to be reflecting repeated unsuccessful attempts at weight control. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Appetite 07/2015; 95. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2015.07.006 · 2.69 Impact Factor
    • "Consumption over the past 12 months is measured with 25 items. Research has shown this scale to have good psychometric properties including internal reliability (Kuder–Richardson α = 0.86) (Gearhardt et al., 2009). In the current study, data analysis supported previous psychometric data, including internal reliability (Kuder–Richardson α = 0.82). "
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    ABSTRACT: Food addiction is the clinical occurrence in which individuals develop physical and psychological dependencies on high fat, high sugar, and highly palatable foods. Past research has demonstrated a number of similarities between food addiction and drug use disorders including the activation of specific brain regions and neurotransmitters, disrupted neuronal circuitry, and behavioral indicators of addiction such as continued use despite negative consequences. The present study examined the role of impulsivity and emotion dysregulation in food addiction as both play salient roles in drug use disorders. Poisson regression analyses using data from 878 undergraduate students revealed negative urgency, the tendency to act impulsively when under distress, and emotion dysregulation positively predicted symptom count on the Yale Food Addiction Scale (Gearhardt, Corbin, & Brownell, 2009) whereas a lack of premeditation negatively predicted symptom count (all ps<0.05). Future research is needed to confirm precursors to eating episodes in food addiction, elucidate causal mechanisms, and support an explanatory model of food addiction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Eating behaviors 07/2015; 19. DOI:10.1016/j.eatbeh.2015.06.007
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    • "High impulsivity predicts food addiction C Velázquez-Sánchez et al (Davis et al, 2011; Gearhardt et al, 2009; Smith and Robbins, 2013; Volkow and Wise, 2005). Remarkably, our results reveal that high trait impulsivity is a risk factor, which can predict the individual susceptibility to the addictive properties of highly palatable foods. "
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