The Association Between an Addictive Tendency Toward Food and Metabolic Characteristics in the General Newfoundland Population (2018)

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2018 Nov 9;9:661. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2018.00661. eCollection 2018.

Nelder M1, Cahill F1, Zhang H1, Zhai G1, Gulliver W1, Teng W2, Shan Z2, Sun G1.


Background: Our previous study of 29 obese food addiction (FA) patients found that FA is associated with lipid profiles and hormones which may be a factor in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and insulin resistance (IR). However, there is currently no data available regarding the relationship between FA symptoms and metabolic characteristics of CVD and IR in the general population. We designed this study to investigate the correlation between FA symptoms with lipid profiles and IR in men and women of the general Newfoundland population.

Methods: 710 individuals (435 women and 275 men) recruited from the general Newfoundland population were used in analysis. FA symptoms were evaluated using the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS). Glucose, insulin, HDL, LDL, total cholesterol and triglycerides levels were measured. IR was evaluated using the homeostatic model of assessment (HOMA). Participants were grouped by sex and menopausal status. Age, physical activity, calories and total % body fat were controlled.

Results: Partial correlation analysis revealed that in men, YFAS symptom counts were significantly correlated with HOMA-β (r = 0.196, p = 0.021), triglycerides (r = 0.140, p = 0.025) and inversely correlated with HDL (r = -0.133, p = 0.033). After separating by menopausal status, pre-menopausal women exhibited no correlations and post-menopausal women had a significantcorrelation with triglycerides (r = 0.198, p = 0.016).

Conclusion: FA is significantly correlated with several markers of metabolic disturbance in men and to a lesser extent, post-menopausal women, in the general population. Further research is required to explain sex specific associations and elucidate any potentially causal mechanisms behind this correlation.

KEYWORDS: food addiction; insulin resistance; lipids; obesity; yale food addiction scale

PMID: 30473679

PMCID: PMC6237829

DOI: 10.3389/fendo.2018.00661

Free PMC Article