Food-addiction scale measurement in 2 cohorts of middle-aged and older women.
BACKGROUND: Excess weight is a major threat to public health. An addiction-like tendency toward certain foods may contribute to overeating. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to describe the prevalence and associated characteristics in relation to a food-addiction scale in middle-aged and older women. DESIGN: We examined the prevalence and associated characteristics of a food-addiction scale measure in a cross-sectional analysis of 134,175 women participating in 2 ongoing prospective cohort studies of US nurses. RESULTS: Overall, 7839 (5.8%) of the women surveyed met the criteria for food addiction measured by using the modified Yale Food Addiction Scale. The prevalence of food addiction was 8.4% in the younger cohort of women aged 45-64 y and 2.7% in the older cohort of women aged 62-88 y. In the multivariate model, body mass index (BMI; in kg/m²) ≥ 35.0 (compared with 18.5-22.9) was associated with food addiction, a prevalence ratio (PR) of 15.83 (95% CI: 12.58, 19.91) in the younger cohort of women, and a PR of 18.41 (95% CI: 11.63, 29.14) in the older cohort of women. Several other demographic characteristics and other factors were associated with the food-addiction measure in both cohorts of women. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, for the first time in a large, US-based population of women, we documented the prevalence of food addiction by using a novel measurement scale in middle-aged and older women. The results may provide insight into the strong association between behavioral attributes of food consumption and the development of obesity.
Flint, AJ; Gearhardt, AN; Corbin, WR; Brownell, KD; Field, AE; Rimm, EB
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