Food addiction and its relationship with disordered eating behaviours and obesity
Food addiction, eating disorders and obesity are all mutually reinforcing factors, or factors that can trigger each other. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between food addiction, disordered eating behaviours and obesity.
The study was conducted with 370 university students. Food addiction was assessed using the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) and disordered eating behaviours were assessed with the Eating Attitude Test (EAT)-26. A digital scale was used to measure weight, while for the measurement of height, waist and hip circumferences a non-stretching tape measure was used according to standard techniques.
Among the participants, 35.7% scored high on the EAT-26, while 21.1% scored high on the YFAS. Females constituted a higher ratio of those who had high scores on the YFAS and EAT-26 (p < 0.05). Overall, the ratio of YFAS high scorers was higher in the case of EAT-26 high scorers (32.6%) than that of low scorers (14.7%) (p < 0.001). A positive weak relationship existed between YFAS and EAT-26 scores (r = 0.165, p = 0.001) and the same between YFAS scores, weight, and body mass index (r = 0.263, p < 0.001; r = 0.319, p < 0.001, respectively).
In summary, a positive relation was found between food addiction, disordered eating behaviours and body mass index. Females were shown to have a higher risk of food addiction and eating disorders than that of males. Further studies can be carried out to analyze these correlations using a wider range of controlling factors.
Level of evidence
Level V, cross-sectional descriptive study.
KeywordsFood addiction Eating disorder Obesity Body mass index
This research did not receive any specific grants from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest in connection with this article.
The study was approved by the Ethical Board of Scientific Research and Publication of Eastern Mediterranean University, dated 06.11.2017 and numbered 2017/50-36.
Informed consent was obtained from all the participants.
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