Food-addiction scale measurement in 2 cohorts of middle-aged and older women.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Excess weight is a major threat to public health. An addiction-like tendency toward certain foods may contribute to overeating.


We aimed to describe the prevalence and associated characteristics in relation to a food-addiction scale in middle-aged and older women.


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.


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.


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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Flint, AJ; Gearhardt, AN; Corbin, WR; Brownell, KD; Field, AE; Rimm, EB

Published Date

  • March 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 99 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 578 - 586

PubMed ID

  • 24452236

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3927691

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1938-3207

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9165

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3945/ajcn.113.068965


  • eng