Preliminary validation of the Yale Food Addiction Scale for children

Ashley N. Gearhardt, Christina A. Roberto, Marissa J. Seamans, William Corbin, Kelly D. Brownell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


Introduction: Evidence is growing that an addictive process may play a role in problematic eating behavior. The majority of research on this topic has examined the concept of "food addiction" solely in adult samples. If certain foods have addictive potential, children may be impacted as much as (or more) than adults due to psychological and neurobiological vulnerabilities at younger developmental stages. In the current study, we developed a measure of food addiction in children that reflects the diagnostic indicators of addiction. Materials and methods: The content and reading level of the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) was altered to be appropriate for children (YFAS-C). The YFAS-C and other eating-related measures were administered to study participants to examine the validity and reliability of the YFAS-C. Participants: 75 children were recruited from the community ranging from lean to obese. Results: The validation of the YFAC-C provides preliminary support for its convergent validity with like constructs and incremental validity in predicting body mass index. Internal consistency was adequate given the small number of items on the scale. Discussion: The YFAS-C appears to be a helpful tool for identifying addictive-like eating in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-512
Number of pages5
JournalEating Behaviors
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Addiction
  • Children
  • Eating
  • Food
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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