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.
- Factor Analysis, Statistical
- Food Addiction/diagnosis
- Middle Aged
- Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
- Reproducibility of Results
- Young Adult