Psychometric properties of the modified Yale Food Addiction Scale Version 2.0 in an Italian non-clinical sample

  • Claudio ImperatoriEmail author
  • Mariantonietta Fabbricatore
  • David Lester
  • Gian Mauro Manzoni
  • Gianluca Castelnuovo
  • Giulia Raimondi
  • Marco Innamorati
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Food and Addiction



To assess the dimensionality and psychometric properties of the modified Yale Food Addiction Scale 2.0 (mYFAS 2.0) in an Italian non-clinical sample.


262 adults (184 women) were administered the Italian versions of the mYFAS 2.0, and questionnaires measuring binge eating severity, anxiety and depression symptoms, and emotional dysregulation.


15 individuals (5.7%) met the criteria for a diagnosis of food addiction according to the mYFAS 2.0. Bayesian confirmatory factor analysis supported a single-factor solution for the mYFAS 2.0. The mYFAS 2.0 had good internal consistency (Ordinal α = 0.91), and convergent validity with binge eating severity (r = 0.67, p < 0.001), both anxiety (r = 0.31, p < 0.001) and depressive (r = 0.35, p < 0.001) symptoms, and difficulties in emotion regulation (r = 0.35, p < 0.001). Finally, both discriminant validity with dietary restraint (Gamma = 0.11; p = 0.52) and incremental validity in predicting binge eating severity over emotion dysregulation and psychopathology (b = 0.52; t = 11.11; p < 0.001) were confirmed.


The Italian mYFAS 2.0 has satisfactory psychometric properties and can be used as a brief instrument for the assessment of addictive eating behaviors when time constraints prevent the use of the original version.

Level of Evidence

Level V, cross-sectional descriptive study.


Food addiction mYFAS 2.0 Binge eating Psychopathology BMI Bayesian confirmatory factor analysis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have 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 individual participants included in the study.


  1. 1.
    Pursey KM, Stanwell P, Gearhardt AN, Collins CE, Burrows TL (2014) The prevalence of food addiction as assessed by the Yale food addiction scale: a systematic review. Nutrients 6:4552–4590. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Imperatori C, Fabbricatore M, Vumbaca V, Innamorati M, Contardi A, Farina B (2016) Food addiction: definition, measurement and prevalence in healthy subjects and in patients with eating disorders. Riv Psichiatr 51:60–65. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Burrows T, Kay-Lambkin F, Pursey K, Skinner J, Dayas C (2018) Food addiction and associations with mental health symptoms: a systematic review with meta-analysis. J Hum Nutr Diet. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hebebrand J, Albayrak O, Adan R, Antel J, Dieguez C, de Jong J et al (2014) “Eating addiction”, rather than “food addiction”, better captures addictive-like eating behavior. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 47:295–306. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    American Psychiatric Association (2000) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders—DSMIV-TR, 4th edn. American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    American Psychiatric Association (2013) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders—DSM-5, 5th edn. American Psychiatric Publishing, ArlingtonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gearhardt AN, Corbin WR, Brownell KD (2009) Preliminary validation of the Yale food addiction scale. Appetite 52:430–436. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Meule A, Heckel D, Kubler A (2012) Factor structure and item analysis of the Yale food addiction scale in obese candidates for bariatric surgery. Eur Eat Disord Rev 20:419–422. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Innamorati M, Imperatori C, Manzoni GM, Lamis DA, Castelnuovo G, Tamburello A et al (2014) Psychometric properties of the Italian Yale food addiction scale in overweight and obese patients. Eat Weight Disord. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gearhardt AN, White MA, Masheb RM, Morgan PT, Crosby RD, Grilo CM (2012) An examination of the food addiction construct in obese patients with binge eating disorder. Int J Eat Disord 45:657–663. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Granero R, Hilker I, Aguera Z, Jimenez-Murcia S, Sauchelli S, Islam MA et al (2014) Food addiction in a Spanish sample of eating disorders: DSM-5 diagnostic subtype differentiation and validation data. Eur Eat Disord Rev 22:389–396. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Meule A, Vögele C, Kübler A (2012) German translation and validation of the Yale food addiction scale. Diagnostica 58:115–126. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Brunault P, Ballon N, Gaillard P, Reveillere C, Courtois R (2014) Validation of the French version of the yale food addiction scale: an examination of its factor structure, reliability, and construct validity in a nonclinical sample. Can J Psychiatry 59:276–284. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Swarna Nantha Y, Abd Patah NA, Ponnusamy Pillai M (2016) Preliminary validation of the Malay Yale Food addiction scale: factor structure and item analysis in an obese population. Clin Nutr ESPEN 16:42–47. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chen G, Tang Z, Guo G, Liu X, Xiao S (2015) The Chinese version of the Yale Food Addiction Scale: an examination of its validation in a sample of female adolescents. Eat Behav 18:97–102. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Torres S, Camacho M, Costa P, Ribeiro G, Santos O, Vieira FM et al (2017) Psychometric properties of the Portuguese version of the Yale food addiction scale. Eat Weight Disord 22:259–267. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Sevinçer GM, Konuk N, Bozkurt S, Saraçli Ö, Coşkun H (2015) Psychometric properties of the Turkish version of the Yale food addiction scale among bariatric surgery patients. Anadolu Psykiyatr De 16:44–53. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Manzoni GM, Rossi A, Pietrabissa G, Varallo G, Molinari E, Poggiogalle E et al (2018) Validation of the Italian Yale food addiction scale in postgraduate university students. Eat Weight Disord 23:167–176. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Meule A, Gearhardt AN (2014) Five years of the Yale food addiction scale: taking stock and moving forward. Curr Addict Rep 1:193–205. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gearhardt AN, Corbin WR, Brownell KD (2016) Development of the Yale food addiction scale version 2.0. Psychol Addict Behav 30:113–121. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Granero R, Jimenez-Murcia S, Gearhardt AN, Aguera Z, Aymami N, Gomez-Pena M et al (2018) Validation of the Spanish version of the Yale Food Addiction Scale 2.0 (YFAS 2.0) and clinical correlates in a sample of eating disorder, gambling disorder, and healthy control participants. Front Psychiatry 9:208. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Meule A, Muller A, Gearhardt AN, Blechert J (2017) German version of the Yale Food Addiction Scale 2.0: Prevalence and correlates of ‘food addiction’ in students and obese individuals. Appetite 115:54–61. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Aloi M, Rania M, Rodriguez Munoz RC, Jimenez Murcia S, Fernandez-Aranda F, De Fazio P et al (2017) Validation of the Italian version of the Yale Food Addiction Scale 2.0 (I-YFAS 2.0) in a sample of undergraduate students. Eat Weight Disord 22:527–533. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Brunault P, Courtois R, Gearhardt AN, Gaillard P, Journiac K, Cathelain S et al (2017) Validation of the French version of the DSM-5 yale food addiction scale in a nonclinical sample. Can J Psychiatry 62:199–210. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Schulte EM, Gearhardt AN (2017) Development of the modified yale food addiction scale version 2.0. Eur Eat Disord Rev 25:302–308. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Nunes-Neto PR, Kohler CA, Schuch FB, Quevedo J, Solmi M, Murru A et al (2018) Psychometric properties of the modified Yale Food Addiction Scale 2.0 in a large Brazilian sample. Rev Bras Psiquiatr. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Flint AJ, Gearhardt AN, Corbin WR, Brownell KD, Field AE, Rimm EB (2014) Food-addiction scale measurement in 2 cohorts of middle-aged and older women. Am J Clin Nutr 99:578–586. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Rodriguez-Martin BC, Innamorati M, Imperatori C, Fabbricatore M, Harnic D, Janiri L et al (2016) Eating Behaviors in Cuban Adults: results from an exploratory transcultural study. Front Psychol 7:1455. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Gormally J, Black S, Daston S, Rardin D (1982) The assessment of binge eating severity among obese persons. Addict Behav 7:47–55. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Zigmond AS, Snaith RP (1983) The hospital anxiety and depression scale. Acta Psychiatr Scand 67:361–370. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Powers A, Stevens J, Fani N, Bradley B (2015) Construct validity of a short, self report instrument assessing emotional dysregulation. Psychiatry Res 225:85–92. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Marcus MD, Wing RR, Hopkins J (1988) Obese binge eaters: affect, cognitions, and response to behavioural weight control. J Consult Clin Psychol 56:433–439. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ricca V, Mannucci E, Moretti S, Di Bernardo M, Zucchi T, Cabras PL et al (2000) Screening for binge eating disorder in obese outpatients. Compr Psychiatry 41:111–115. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Freitas SR, Lopes CS, Appolinario JC, Coutinho W (2006) The assessment of binge eating disorder in obese women: a comparison of the binge eating scale with the structured clinical interview for the DSM-IV. Eat Behav 7:282–289. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Robert SA, Rohana AG, Suehazlyn Z, Maniam T, Azhar SS, Azmi KN (2013) The validation of the malay version of binge eating scale: a comparison with the structured clinical interview for the DSM-IV. J Eat Disord 1:28. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Dezhkam M, Moloodi R, Mootabi F, Omidvar N (2009) Standardization of the binge eating scale among iranian obese population. Iran J Psychiatry 4:143–146Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Imperatori C, Innamorati M, Lamis DA, Contardi A, Continisio M, Castelnuovo G et al (2016) Factor structure of the binge eating scale in a large sample of obese and overweight patients attending low energy diet therapy. Eur Eat Disord Rev 24:174–178. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Bjelland I, Dahl AA, Haug TT, Neckelmann D (2002) The validity of the hospital anxiety and depression scale. An updated literature review. J Psychosom Res 52:69–77. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Olsson I, Mykletun A, Dahl AA (2005) The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Rating Scale: a cross-sectional study of psychometrics and case finding abilities in general practice. BMC Psychiatry 5:46. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Iani L, Lauriola M, Costantini M (2014) A confirmatory bifactor analysis of the hospital anxiety and depression scale in an Italian community sample. Health Qual Life Outcomes 12:84. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Fox-Wasylyshyn SM, El-Masri MM (2005) Handling missing data in self-report measures. Res Nurs Health 28:488–495. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Muthen B, Asparouhov T (2012) Bayesian structural equation modeling: a more flexible representation of substantive theory. Psychol Methods 17:313–335. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    van de Schoot R, Depaoli S (2014) Bayesian analyses: where to start and what to report. Eur Health Psychol 16:75–84Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Zumbo BD, Gadermann AM, Zeisser C (2007) Ordinal versions of coefficients alpha and theta for likert rating scales. J Mod Appl Stat Methods 6:21–29. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Burrows T, Skinner J, McKenna R, Rollo M (2017) Food addiction, binge eating disorder, and obesity: is there a relationship? Behav Sci. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    WHO (TheWorld Health Organisation). BMI Classifcation. Available online: Accessed 10 Oct 2018
  47. 47.
    Meule A (2012) Food addiction and body-mass-index: a non-linear relationship. Med Hypotheses 79:508–511. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Gearhardt AN, White MA, Masheb RM, Grilo CM (2013) An examination of food addiction in a racially diverse sample of obese patients with binge eating disorder in primary care settings. Compr Psychiatry 54:500–505. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Chao AM, Shaw JA, Pearl RL, Alamuddin N, Hopkins CM, Bakizada ZM et al (2017) Prevalence and psychosocial correlates of food addiction in persons with obesity seeking weight reduction. Compr Psychiatry 73:97–104. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Ivezaj V, White MA, Grilo CM (2016) Examining binge-eating disorder and food addiction in adults with overweight and obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring) 24:2064–2069. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Zellner DA, Garriga-Trillo A, Rohm E, Centeno S, Parker S (1999) Food liking and craving: a cross-cultural approach. Appetite 33:61–70. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Osman JL, Sobal J (2006) Chocolate cravings in American and Spanish individuals: biological and cultural influences. Appetite 47:290–301. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Hallam J, Boswell RG, DeVito EE, Kober H (2016) Gender-related differences in food craving and obesity. Yale J Biol Med 89:161–173PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Murphy CM, Stojek MK, MacKillop J (2014) Interrelationships among impulsive personality traits, food addiction. and body mass index. Appetite 73:45–50. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Gearhardt AN, Boswell RG, White MA (2014) The association of “food addiction” with disordered eating and body mass index. Eat Behav 15:427–433. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Pursey KM, Collins CE, Stanwell P, Burrows TL (2015) Foods and dietary profiles associated with ‘food addiction’ in young adults. Addict Behav Rep 2:41–48. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Imperatori C, Innamorati M, Lamis DA, Farina B, Fabbricatore M, Contardi A (2018) Body uneasiness is associated with food addiction symptoms: a cross-sectional study. Eur Eat Disord Rev. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Niedhammer I, Bugel I, Bonenfant S, Goldberg M, Leclerc A (2000) Validity of self-reported weight and height in the French GAZEL cohort. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 24:1111–1118. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Jacobson BH, DeBock DH (2001) Comparison of body mass index by self-reported versus measured height and weight. Percept Mot Skills 92:128–132. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Kuczmarski MF, Kuczmarski RJ, Najjar M (2001) Effects of age on validity of self-reported height, weight, and body mass index: findings from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–1994. J Am Diet Assoc 101:28–34. quiz 5–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Spencer EA, Appleby PN, Davey GK, Key TJ (2002) Validity of self-reported height and weight in 4808 EPIC-Oxford participants. Public Health Nutr 5:561–565. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Lois K, Kumar S, Williams N, Birrell L (2011) Can self-reported height and weight be relied upon? Occup Med (Lond) 61:590–592. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Imperatori C, Innamorati M, Lamis DA, Farina B, Pompili M, Contardi A et al (2016) Childhood trauma in obese and overweight women with food addiction and clinical-level of binge eating. Child Abuse Negl 58:180–190. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Vella SC, Pai NB (2017) A narrative review of potential treatment strategies for food addiction. Eat Weight Disord 22:387–393. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human SciencesEuropean University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Stockton UniversityGallowayUSA
  3. 3.Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCSPsychology Research LaboratoryOggebbioItaly
  4. 4.Faculty of PsychologyeCampus UniversityNovedrateItaly
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyCatholic UniversityMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations