Validation of the Italian Yale Food Addiction Scale in postgraduate university students

  • Gian Mauro ManzoniEmail author
  • Alessandro Rossi
  • Giada Pietrabissa
  • Giorgia Varallo
  • Enrico Molinari
  • Eleonora Poggiogalle
  • Lorenzo Maria Donini
  • Giulietta Tarrini
  • Nazario Melchionda
  • Carla Piccione
  • Giovanni Gravina
  • Gianluigi Luxardi
  • Emilia Manzato
  • Romana Schumann
  • Marco Innamorati
  • Claudio Imperatori
  • Mariantonietta Fabbricatore
  • Gianluca Castelnuovo
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Food and Addiction



This study was aimed to examine the structural and construct validity of the Italian version of the Yale Food Addiction Scale in a multisite sample of postgraduate students.


Two hundred and fifty-six subjects (78.1% females) aged from 18 to 53 years (mean = 23.93, SD = 4.96) and attending different postgraduate university programs at multiple Italian universities completed the Italian YFAS, the Italian Binge Eating Scale (BES), the Italian Eating Attitudes Test-26 and the Italian Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ) online through Qualtrics.


Confirmatory Factor Analysis showed that the single-factor model of the Italian YFAS including all original items had adequate fit indexes (χ2252 = 454.183; p < 0.001; normed χ2 = 1.802; RMSEA = 0.056; 90% CI 0.048–0.076; CFI = 0.761; WRMR = 1.592). However, item analysis revealed that item#25 had zero variance (all subjects were assigned the same score after item dichotomization) and item#24 had a low factor loading, and were thus removed. Furthermore, item#10 and item#11 showed to be almost perfectly correlated (r = 0.998) and were thus parceled. The resulting 19-item single-factor model revealed a better fit to the data (χ2152 = 235.69; p < 0.001; normed χ2 = 1.556; RMSEA = 0.046; 90% CI 0.034–0.058; CFI = 0.858; WRMR = 1.236) and its internal consistency was acceptable (KR-20 = 0.72). Also, a single-factor model including the seven diagnostic symptoms was tested and showed adequate fit values (χ220 = 41.911; p < 0.003; normed χ2 = 2.09; RMSEA = 0.065; 90% CI 0.037–0.093; CFI = 0.946; WRMR = 1.132). Statistically significant and small-to-high correlations were found with all convergent measures, in particular with the BES.


The Italian 19-item YFAS resulted to be a valid and reliable tool for the assessment of food addiction in postgraduate students.

Level of evidence

Level V, descriptive study.


Food addiction YFAS Validity University students 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study prior to accessing the survey.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gian Mauro Manzoni
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Alessandro Rossi
    • 1
    • 4
  • Giada Pietrabissa
    • 1
    • 3
  • Giorgia Varallo
    • 1
  • Enrico Molinari
    • 1
    • 3
  • Eleonora Poggiogalle
    • 5
  • Lorenzo Maria Donini
    • 5
  • Giulietta Tarrini
    • 6
  • Nazario Melchionda
    • 6
  • Carla Piccione
    • 7
  • Giovanni Gravina
    • 8
  • Gianluigi Luxardi
    • 9
  • Emilia Manzato
    • 10
  • Romana Schumann
    • 11
  • Marco Innamorati
    • 12
  • Claudio Imperatori
    • 12
  • Mariantonietta Fabbricatore
    • 12
  • Gianluca Castelnuovo
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCSPsychology Research LaboratoryOggebbioItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of PsychologyeCampus UniversityNovedrateItaly
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyCatholic UniversityMilanItaly
  4. 4.Interdepartmental Center for Family Research, Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education, and Applied Psychology, Section of Applied PsychologyUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly
  5. 5.Department of Experimental MedicineSapienza UniversityRomeItaly
  6. 6.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity Alma materBolognaItaly
  7. 7.Center for Eating DisordersS. Rossore ClinicPisaItaly
  8. 8.Center for Eating Disorders, ASL Tuscany Nord WestPisaItaly
  9. 9.Center for Eating Disorders, ASL5 West FriuliPordenoneItaly
  10. 10.Eating and Weight Disorders CentrePrivate Hospital SalusFerraraItaly
  11. 11.Gruber Center for Eating DisordersBolognaItaly
  12. 12.Department of Human SciencesEuropean University of RomeRomeItaly

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