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Keywords:

  • binge eating;
  • food addiction;
  • substance use;
  • drug use;
  • emotional eating;
  • obesity

Abstract

Objective:

This study examined the psychometric properties of the Yale food addiction scale (YFAS) in obese patients with binge eating disorder (BED) and explored its association with measures of eating disorder and associated psychopathology.

Method:

Eighty-one obese treatment-seeking BED patients were given the YFAS, structured interviews to assess psychiatric disorders and eating disorder psychopathology, and other pathology measures.

Results:

Confirmatory factor analysis revealed a one-factor solution with an excellent fit. Classification of “food addiction” was met by 57% of BED patients. Patients classified as meeting YFAS “food addiction” criteria had significantly higher levels of depression, negative affect, emotion dysregulation, eating disorder psychopathology, and lower self-esteem. YFAS scores were also significant predictors of binge eating frequency above and beyond other measures.

Discussion:

The subset of BED patients classified as having YFAS “food addiction” appear to represent a more disturbed variant characterized by greater eating disorder psychopathology and associated pathology. © 2011 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2011)