Validation of the Italian Yale Food Addiction Scale in postgraduate university students

Gian Mauro Manzoni, Alessandro Rossi, Giada Pietrabissa, Giorgia Varallo, Enrico Molinari, Eleonora Poggiogalle, Lorenzo Maria Donini, Giulietta Tarrini, Nazario Melchionda, Carla Piccione, Giovanni Gravina, Gianluigi Luxardi, Emilia Manzato, Romana Schumann, Marco Innamorati, Claudio Imperatori, Mariantonietta Fabbricatore, Gianluca Castelnuovo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study was aimed to examine the structural and construct validity of the Italian version of the Yale Food Addiction Scale in a multisite sample of postgraduate students. Methods: Two hundred and fifty-six subjects (78.1% females) aged from 18 to 53 years (mean = 23.93, SD = 4.96) and attending different postgraduate university programs at multiple Italian universities completed the Italian YFAS, the Italian Binge Eating Scale (BES), the Italian Eating Attitudes Test-26 and the Italian Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ) online through Qualtrics. Results: Confirmatory Factor Analysis showed that the single-factor model of the Italian YFAS including all original items had adequate fit indexes (χ2252 = 454.183; p < 0.001; normed χ2= 1.802; RMSEA = 0.056; 90% CI 0.048–0.076; CFI = 0.761; WRMR = 1.592). However, item analysis revealed that item#25 had zero variance (all subjects were assigned the same score after item dichotomization) and item#24 had a low factor loading, and were thus removed. Furthermore, item#10 and item#11 showed to be almost perfectly correlated (r = 0.998) and were thus parceled. The resulting 19-item single-factor model revealed a better fit to the data (χ2152 = 235.69; p < 0.001; normed χ2= 1.556; RMSEA = 0.046; 90% CI 0.034–0.058; CFI = 0.858; WRMR = 1.236) and its internal consistency was acceptable (KR-20 = 0.72). Also, a single-factor model including the seven diagnostic symptoms was tested and showed adequate fit values (χ220 = 41.911; p < 0.003; normed χ2= 2.09; RMSEA = 0.065; 90% CI 0.037–0.093; CFI = 0.946; WRMR = 1.132). Statistically significant and small-to-high correlations were found with all convergent measures, in particular with the BES. Conclusion: The Italian 19-item YFAS resulted to be a valid and reliable tool for the assessment of food addiction in postgraduate students. Level of evidence: Level V, descriptive study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-176
Number of pages10
JournalEating and Weight Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Clinical Psychology
  • Food addiction
  • Psychiatry and Mental Health
  • University students
  • Validity
  • YFAS


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