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

ABSTRACT 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, Aug 17, 2015
    • "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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    • "j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e : w w w. e l s e v i e r. c o m / l o c a t e / a p p e t et al., 2014; Burgess et al., 2014). In both populations, these findings held while controlling for demographic variables, addictivelike eating as assessed with the Yale Food Addiction Scale (Gearhardt et al., 2009), and binge-eating status as assessed with the Binge Eating Scale (Gormally, Black, Daston, & Rardin, 1982). The Coping motive is composed of only 4-items that ask how often one eats highly palatable foods to forget about worries and problems, to cheer up when in a bad mood, and because it helps when feeling depressed or nervous. "
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    ABSTRACT: The goals of this study were to determine if a change in certain motives to eat highly palatable food, as measured by the Palatable Eating Motives Scale (PEMS), could predict a change in body mass index (BMI) over time, to assess the temporal stability of these motive scores, and to test the reliability of previously reported associations between eating tasty foods to cope and BMI. BMI, demographics, and scores on the PEMS and the Binge Eating Scale were obtained from 192 college students. Test-retest analysis was performed on the PEMS motives in groups varying in three gap times between tests. Regression analyses determined what PEMS motives predicted a change in BMI over two years. The results replicated previous findings that eating palatable food for Coping motives (e.g., to forget about problems, reduce negative feelings) is associated with BMI. Test-retest correlations revealed that motive scores, while somewhat stable, can change over time. Importantly, among overweight participants, a change in Coping scores predicted a change in BMI over 2 years, such that a 1-point change in Coping predicted a 1.76 change in BMI (equivalent to a 10.5 lb. change in body weight) independent of age, sex, ethnicity, and initial binge-eating status (Cohen's f 2 effect size = 1.44). The large range in change of Coping scores suggests it is possible to decrease frequency of eating to cope by more than 1 scale point to achieve weight losses greater than 10 lbs. in young overweight adults, a group already at risk for rapid weight gain. Hence, treatments aimed specifically at reducing palatable food intake for coping reasons-vs.-for social, reward, or conformity reasons, should help achieve a healthier body weight and prevent obesity if this motive-type is identified prior to significant weight gain.
    Appetite 01/2015; 87. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2015.01.008 · 2.69 Impact Factor
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