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The association between self-reported food addiction symptoms and obesity among adults: A cross-sectional study


Omar A. Alhaj*, Iman Mahmoud , Amina Sharif, Zahra Saif , Haitham Jahrami and Keith Morris  


Background: Overweight and obesity prevalence are still on the rise worldwide. Uncontrolled craving for specific foods has been associated with overweight/ obesity, categorizing them as possible abuse-related disorders with food addiction (FA) as their possible main phenotype. The association between FA and the onset of overweight/ obesity are still controversial, yet scientifically plausible and is the focus of many recent overweight/ obesity -related investigations.

Objective: The current study was the first to examine the association of FA symptoms and obesity among young Bahraini adults.

Methods: This study was designed using a cross-sectional research method recruiting a convenience adult samples of 654 aged 18-35 years. FA prevalence using Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS), sociodemographic, and anthropometric data, were collected using an on-line self-declared, semi-structured questionnaire. The descriptive results of the YFAS survey and the sociodemographic and anthropometric information were reported using descriptive statistics. Multiple regression test was utilized to analyze the correlations among examined factors.

Results: A total of 124 (18.96%) participants met criteria for FA. Responses showed females had a slightly higher proportion of FA compared to the male participants). Results also showed no statistically significant association between various body mass index (BMI) categories and YFAS. For overweight participants, gender p = 0.018 appeared to be a significant predictor for BMI; and for obese participants, age p = 0.001 and sex p = 0.001 appeared to be significant predictors of BMI.

Conclusions: No significant correlation was found between FA and BMI, age, and gender; on the other hand, age and gender were significant predictors for BMI.


food addiction, obesity, BMI, gender, age, Yale Food Addiction Scale, food items


Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Pharmacy and Medical Science, University of Petra, Amman, Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Pharmacy and Medical Science, University of Petra, Amman, Ministry of Health, Manama, Ministry of Health, Manama, Ministry of Health, Manama, Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University

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