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Nutrients 2017, 9(3), 285; doi:10.3390/nu9030285

Differences in Dietary Preferences, Personality and Mental Health in Australian Adults with and without Food Addiction

1
Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia
2
Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Reserach, School of Psychology, University of Queensland, St Lucia 4072, Australia
3
The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne 3052, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 February 2017 / Revised: 8 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Mental Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [620 KB, uploaded 15 March 2017]   |  

Abstract

Increased obesity rates, an evolving food supply and the overconsumption of energy dense foods has led to an increase in research exploring addictive eating behaviours. This study aimed to investigate food addiction in a sample of Australian adults using the revised Yale Food Addiction Survey (YFAS) 2.0 tool and how it is associated with dietary intake, personality traits and mental health issues. Australian adults were invited to complete an online survey that collected information including: demographics, dietary intake, depression, anxiety, stress and personality dimensions including impulsivity, sensation seeking, hopelessness and anxiety sensitivity. A total of 1344 individuals were recruited with the samples comprising 75.7% female, mean age 39.8 ± 13.1 years (range 18–91 years) and body mass index BMI 27.7 ± 9.5. Food addiction was identified in 22.2% of participants using the YFAS 2.0 tool, which classified the severity of food addiction as “mild” in 0.7% of cases, “moderate” in 2.6% and “severe” in 18.9% of cases. Predictors of severe food addiction were female gender (odds ratio (OR) 3.65 95% CI 1.86–7.11) and higher levels of soft drink OR 1.36 (1.07–1.72), confectionary consumption and anxiety sensitivity 1.16 (1.07–1.26). Overall people with “severe” (OR 13.2, 5.8–29.8) or extremely severe depressive symptoms (OR 15.6, range 7.1–34.3) had the highest odds of having severe food addiction. The only variable that reduced the odds of having severe food addiction was vegetable intake. The current study highlights that addictive food behaviours are associated with a complex pattern of poor dietary choices and a clustering with mental health issues, particularly depression. View Full-Text
Keywords: diet; food addiction; depression; obesity diet; food addiction; depression; obesity
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Burrows, T.; Hides, L.; Brown, R.; Dayas, C.V.; Kay-Lambkin, F. Differences in Dietary Preferences, Personality and Mental Health in Australian Adults with and without Food Addiction. Nutrients 2017, 9, 285.

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