Yale Food Addiction Scale - review of literature

Éva Erzsébet Magyar, Györgyi Csábi, Tamás Tényi, Dalma Tényi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Food addiction is a condition presenting with a similar symptomatology to that of drug addiction, with an underlying individual sensitivity and special adaptation to certain foods, being consumed regularly. The concept of food addiction created one of the central issues in addiction research, owing to the pandemic spreading of obesity causing serious public health concerns. Development of an objective, standardized measuring tool of food addiction has become markedly necessary for both research and public health purposes.

METHODS: Literature overview in the fields of food addiction and Yale Food Addiction Scale (1956-2016).

RESULTS: For the establishment of food addiction diagnosis, the Yale Food Addiction Scale has become the most widely used method. It is an English questionnaire consisting of 25 questions, having been developed according to the 7 substance use disorder criteria in DSM-IV. The scale provides the possibility of diagnosis establishment, as well as measurement of food addiction severity. Development of the scale has given way to a number of new scientific results. The mean prevalence of food addiction is 19.7%, being more common in women, obese individuals, people >35 years and patients with already established eating disorders (binge eating disorder, bulimia). The most common symptom is the 'persistent desire or repeated unsuccessful attempts to quit'. A positive association has been recognized between food addiction symptomcount and the reward system dysfunction.

CONCLUSION: The Yale Food Addiction Scale is a psychometrically valid, objective and standardized tool, being not only useful in addiction research but also helping in diagnosis establishment in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-260
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatria Hungarica : A Magyar Pszichiatriai Tarsasag tudomanyos folyoirata
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this