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Open AccessArticle

Food Addiction, Binge Eating Disorder, and Obesity: Is There a Relationship?

School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan 2308, Australia
Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan 2308, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Behav. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 54;
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 9 August 2017 / Accepted: 9 August 2017 / Published: 14 August 2017
PDF [500 KB, uploaded 14 August 2017]


Existing research suggests that there is an overlap between binge eating disorder (BED) and the construct of ‘food addiction’ (FA). The objective of this study was to determine the overlapping features of BED and FA through a comparison of the individual scales of commonly used tools including the Binge Eating Scale (BES) and the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) in a sample of Australian adults. Adults (>18 years of age) were invited to complete an anonymous online survey on FA. Binge eating was assessed through the BES and addictive eating behaviours were assessed through the YFAS (n = 1344). The prevalence and severity of both FA and binge eating increased across weight categories. The overall correlation between the total score from the BES and FA symptoms was r = 0.76, p < 0.001; for females it was r = 0.77, p < 0.001, and for males it was r = 0.65, p < 0.001. Total BES score and the BES emotion factor were most often associated with FA symptoms, as was demonstrated to produce stronger correlations with FA symptoms. In contrast, the BES behaviour factor was less strongly associated to FA with the majority of correlations <0.6. This study demonstrates the overlap between BED and FA, and highlights the possible unique differences between the forms of disordered eating. View Full-Text
Keywords: binge eating; food addiction binge eating; food addiction

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Burrows, T.; Skinner, J.; McKenna, R.; Rollo, M. Food Addiction, Binge Eating Disorder, and Obesity: Is There a Relationship? Behav. Sci. 2017, 7, 54.

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