Role of funding sources
Food Addiction and Bulimia Nervosa
Article first published online: 3 JUL 2014
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
European Eating Disorders Review
Volume 22, Issue 5, pages 331–337, September 2014
How to Cite
2014), Food Addiction and Bulimia Nervosa. Eur. Eat. Disorders Rev., 22: 331–337. doi: 10.1002/erv.2306and (
No funding was received for this study.
- Issue published online: 12 AUG 2014
- Article first published online: 3 JUL 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 JUN 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 22 MAY 2014
- Manuscript Received: 23 FEB 2014
- food addiction;
- Yale Food Addiction Scale;
- bulimia nervosa;
- binge eating;
- substance dependence
In individuals with obesity and binge eating disorder (BED), eating patterns can show addictive qualities, with similarities to substance use disorders on behavioural and neurobiological levels. Bulimia nervosa (BN) has received less attention in this regard, despite their regular binge eating symptoms. The Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) was developed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders, and food addiction can be diagnosed when at least three addiction symptoms are endorsed and a clinically significant impairment or distress is present. Although the prevalence of food addiction diagnoses is increased in individuals with obesity and BED, recent studies which used the YFAS showed that there are also individuals with normal weight who can be classified as being ‘food addicted’. Based on self-reported eating disorder symptoms, women with current (n = 26) or remitted (n = 20) BN, and a control group of women matched for age and body mass index (n = 63) completed the YFAS and other measures. Results revealed that all patients with current BN received a food addiction diagnosis according to the YFAS while only six (30%) women with remitted BN did. None of the women in the control group received a food addiction diagnosis. Results provide support for the notion that BN can be described as addiction-like eating behaviour and suggest that food addiction most likely improves when BN symptoms remit. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.