Clinical food addiction diagnoses are nowadays measure by a tool called Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) which was initially developed on the basis of criteria for identifying substance addictions. Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) is used in different populations particularly, in obese patients who are planning for bariatric surgery. This systematic review covers literature published on food addiction diagnosis using PsycINFO, MEDLINE, and PsycARTICLES.databases from January 2014 and July 2017 (60 publications in total). Recent studies have been reviewed due to the introduction of YFAS 2.0, mYFAS in light of the debate on behavioral addictions.
The results of clinical and non-clinical samples with a higher body mass and incidence of eating disorders (EDs), shows higher scores of YFAS in binge eating disorder (BED).
The studies revealed that incidence of food addictions differs according to the population studied and this is dependent on sample selection methods. The criteria for differentiation of food addictions and other eating and addictive disorders can be made from the analysis of behavioral addictions. However, the authors of this review recommend that study groups should conduct further research in this field considering the psychological processes of obsessive eating in view of behavioral addictions. There are some limitations associated with YFAS item formulation and some items necessities to be examined in a different way in future studies. The studies must determine individual items of the scale to evaluate mechanisms from clinical perspective.
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