Food addiction symptomology, impulsivity, mood, and body mass index in people with type two diabetes

Appetite. 2015 Dec;95:383-9. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.07.030. Epub 2015 Jul 29.


This research explored how food addiction (FA) and impulsivity (non-planning, motor, and attentional) relate to body mass index (BMI) in a sample of people with type 2 diabetes (t2d). Participants with t2d (N = 334, Mage = 41.0, SDage = 9.5, 66% female, MBMI = 37.6 kg/m(2), SDBMI = 8.0 kg/m(2)) completed an online survey including the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21), the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-II), and the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS). Results demonstrated that over 70% of the sample with t2d met the YFAS criteria for FA. Results also demonstrated that participants classified as FA had significantly higher BMI, t (332) = 12.11, p < .001. The food addict classification group also had a significantly higher percentage of obese participants, χ(2) (2) = 87.1, p < .001, phi = .511. Utilising a cross-sectional design to predict BMI, significant forward stepwise multiple regression demonstrated that FA (β = .386) and impulsivity (non-planning) (β = .286) were significant predictors. In combination FA and impulsivity (non-planning) significantly explained 38% of BMI variance; however depression, anxiety, and stress did not significantly improve the model. These results suggest FA and impulsivity (non-planning) are more salient cross-sectional predictors of BMI, in people with t2d, than indices of depression, anxiety, stress and impulsivity (motor and attentional). These results, implicating FA in the development of obesity, have important ramifications for potential future treatment methods of t2d where FA symptomology could be routinely screened, and if present, treated via addiction models rather than purely attempting to treat the potential consequences of FA.

Keywords: Food addiction; Impulsivity; Obesity; Type 2 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Anxiety / complications
  • Behavior, Addictive / complications
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Surveys and Questionnaires