Background Childhood obesity proves to be an important public health issue, since it serves as a potential risk factor for multiple diseases. Food addiction could also serve as an important etiological factor. As childhood obesity plays a serious issue also in Hungary, we aimed to adapt and validate the Hungarian version of the Yale Food Addiction Scale for Children (H-YFAS-C). Methods A total of 191 children were assessed with the H-YFAS-C and the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI). The following psychometric properties were analyzed: internal consistency, construct validity, convergent, and discriminant validity. Results A good construct validity was revealed by confirmatory factor analysis (RMSEA = 0.0528, CFI = 0.896, χ2 value = 279.06). Question 25 proved to have no significant effect on its group and was removed from further analyses. The Kuder-Richardson 20 coefficient indicated good internal consistency (K20 = 0.82). With the use of the eight EDI subscales, a good convergent and discriminant validity could be determined. Food addiction was diagnosed in 8.9% of children. The mean symptom count was 1.7 ± 1.2 (range: 0-7). Females were more often diagnosed with food addiction than males (p = .016; OR = 3.6, 95% CI: 1.2-10.6). BMI percentiles were significantly higher in children with diagnosed food addiction (p = .003). There proved to be no correlation between age and the occurrence of food addiction. Discussion and conclusion Our results show that H-YFAS-C is a good and reliable tool for addictive-like behavior assessment.
Keywords: Yale Food Addiction Scale for Children; food addiction; food addiction assessment; obesity; public health.