Article

Preliminary validation of the Yale Food Addiction Scale.

Yale University, 2 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
Appetite (Impact Factor: 2.52). 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".

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: William Corbin, Jun 26, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
206 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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 · 2.52 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The characteristic relentless self-starvation behaviour seen in Anorexia Nervosa (AN) has been described as evidence of compulsivity, with increasing suggestion of transdiagnostic parallels with addictive behaviour. There is a paucity of standardised self-report measures of compulsive behaviour in eating disorders (EDs). Measures that index the concept of compulsive self-starvation in AN are needed to explore the suggested parallels with addictions. With this aim a novel measure of self-starvation was developed (the Self-Starvation Scale, SS). 126 healthy participants, and 78 individuals with experience of AN, completed the new measure along with existing measures of eating disorder symptoms, anxiety and depression. Initial validation in the healthy sample indicated good reliability and construct validity, and incremental validity in predicting eating disorder symptoms. The psychometric properties of the SS scale were replicated in the AN sample. The ability of this scale to predict ED symptoms was particularly strong in individuals currently suffering from AN. These results suggest the SS may be a useful index of compulsive food restriction in AN. The concept of 'starvation dependence' in those with eating disorders, as a parallel with addiction, may be of clinical and theoretical importance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Eating Behaviors 12/2014; 17C:10-13. DOI:10.1016/j.eatbeh.2014.12.004 · 1.58 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although the concept of food addiction' (FA) has raised growing interest because of evidence for similarities between substance dependence and excessive food intake, there is a lack of studies that explore this construct among the wide spectrum of eating disorders (EDs). Besides providing validation scores of a Spanish version of the Yale FA Scale (YFAS-S), this study examined the prevalence of FA' among ED subtypes compared with healthy-eating controls (HCs) and the association between FA' scores, eating symptomatology and general psychopathology. A sample of 125 adult women with ED, diagnosed according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 criteria, and 82 healthy-eating women participated in the study. All participants were assessed with the YFAS-S, the ED Inventory-2 and the Symptom Checklist-Revised. Results showed that the internal structure of the one-dimensional solution for the YFAS-S was very good (=0.95). The YFAS-S has a good discriminative capacity to differentiate between ED and controls (specificity=97.6% and sensitivity (Se)=72.8%; area under receiver operating characteristic curve=0.90) and a good Se to screen for specific ED subtypes. YFAS-S scores were associated with higher levels of negative affect and depression, higher general psychopathology, more severe eating pathology and greater body mass index. When comparing the prevalence of FA' between ED subtypes, the lowest prevalence of FA', measured with the YFAS-S, was for the anorexia nervosa (AN) restrictive subtype with 50%, and the highest was for the AN binge-purging subtype (85.7%), followed by bulimia nervosa (81.5%) and binge eating disorder (76.9%). In conclusion, higher YFAS-S scores are associated with bingeing ED-subtype patients and with more eating severity and psychopathology. Although the FA' construct is able to differentiate between ED and HC, it needs to be further explored. Copyright (c) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
    European Eating Disorders Review 11/2014; 22(6). DOI:10.1002/erv.2311 · 1.38 Impact Factor