Background: There is a growing body of literature exploring food addiction (FA) in adolescents with obesity and how it impacts treatment outcomes. Several studies have evaluated the prevalence of FA in youth with obesity as measured by the Yale Food Addiction Scale for children (YFAS-c) and rates vary from 4-22%. The rates of obesity in Hispanic youth is reported to be higher than in other ethnic groups however there is a paucity of literature exploring the prevalence of FA in this population. Due to our geographic location and our majority Hispanic patient population, we examined 1) the prevalence of FA in Hispanic adolescents with obesity and 2) the association between FA and demographic characteristics.
Methods: Baseline data from a RCT on behavioral weight management interventions was used. Participants who self-identified as Hispanic, were 14-18 years of age, and with a BMI >95th% met criteria. Fisher’s exact test was used to assess the differences between adolescents with positive and negative YFAS-c scores and demographic characteristics.
Results: In a sample of 59 Hispanic youth, 29% met criteria for FA. There was no significant difference in age, gender, or household income between adolescents with positive YFAS-c at baseline compared to those with negative scores.
Conclusions: Hispanic youth with obesity have higher rates of FA than previous prevalence reports. This information is essential to consider prior to implementation of a weight management program as it may impact adherence, retention, and ultimately weight outcomes. Baseline behavioral phenotyping may be a strategy to ensure adolescents are receiving the services they require in conjunction with participation in a weight management program. These findings can help inform providers of the importance of screening for FA prior to intervention administration and possibly modifying the intervention content to address addictive like eating behaviors.
J. Gonzalez: None. C. Fink: None. C. Wee: None. E. Hegedus: None. K. Lopez: None. A. Vidmar: None.
eHealth International (CHLA 000193)