The main focus of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of food addiction (FA) in a population of 575 subjects, all affected by drugs, alcohol and/or tobacco addiction.
Patients were enrolled in Addiction Service Centers and 25 items YFAS questionnaire was administered. Prevalence of FA was studied among patients who already have an addiction and then this prevalence was compared between groups of abusers (by type of substance), comparing mono abusers with polyabusers, as well as regressions by age, BMI, sex, through multiple regression analysis.
Prevalence of FA in the sample is 20.17%. Risk of FA increases with the number of substances used (polyabuse). Results show a positive correlation, in addicted people, between BMI values and FA, with significant values (OR 1.08; 95% CI 1.04–1.13; p = 0.006). Age is inversely correlated with FA (OR 0.97; 95% CI 0.95–0.99; p = 0.01). Female sex is positively associated (OR 2.60; 95% CI 1.59–4.27, p = 0.000). No significant association appears with any substance, even if the highest prevalence is recorded among cannabis users (31.03%), and heroin (21.07%), followed by cocaine (18.53%), alcohol (14.49%) and tobacco (11.61%). A comparison between the FA prevalence in our study and that from another study in the Italian general population (11%) shows a significant difference (p < 0.001).
Prevalence of FA among addicted people is greater than in the general population. Risk of FA increases with the increase in number of used substances (polyabuse). Age is inversely correlated with FA. There is a positive and significant correlation between BMI and FA among substance/tobacco abusers.
Level of evidence
Level V, observational cross-sectional descriptive study.
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Special thanks to: Bersani Nicoletta, Caruso Antonio, Chiesa Elisabetta, Cifelli Giuseppina, Cipollina Roberto, Gaiga Manuela, Guarda Federica, Meneghello Daniela, Monti Ilaria, Quarella Elisabetta, Sara Rosa, Zerman Maristella.
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The authors declare they have not conflict of interest.
The study was approved by the ethical committee of the province of Monza and Brianza (San Gerardo Hospital, Monza).
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Tinghino, B., Lugoboni, F., Amatulli, A. et al. The FODRAT study (FOod addiction, DRugs, Alcohol and Tobacco): first data on food addiction prevalence among patients with addiction to drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Eat Weight Disord 26, 449–455 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-020-00865-z
- Food addiction
- Bulimia nervosa
- Food craving