Quiz: Are You a Food Addict?

Yale scientist Ashley Gearhardt modeled the Yale Food Addiction Scale on standard assessments for substance abuse, with the goal of distinguishing food addicts from mere overeaters. Below is a condensed version from Pamela Peeke’s new book, The Hunger Fix

by Norine Dworkin-McDaniel
hunger fix image
Photograph: Illustrated by Thomas Fuchs

Please answer questions 1 through 7 using this numerical key

0: never

1: once a month

2: 2 to 4 times a month

3: 2 or 3 times a week

4: 4+ times a week

1. I find myself consuming certain foods even though I am no longer hungry. ____

2. I worry about cutting down on certain foods. ____

3. I feel sluggish or fatigued from overeating. ____

4. I have spent time dealing with negative feelings from overeating certain foods instead of spending time in important activities such as time with family, friends, work or recreation. ____

5. I have had physical withdrawal symptoms such as agitation and anxiety when I cut down on certain foods. (Do not include caffeinated drinks: coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, etc.) ____

6. My behavior with respect to food and eating causes me significant distress. ____

7. Issues related to food and eating decrease my ability to function effectively (daily routine, job/school, social or family activities, health difficulties). ____

Answer yes or no for questions 8 and 9

8. I keep consuming the same types or amounts of food despite significant emotional and/or physical problems related to my eating. ____

9. Eating the same amount of food does not reduce negative emotions or increase pleasurable feelings the way it used to. ____


To meet the food-addiction criteria, you need to have answered yes to either 8 or 9 (or both) and matched the answers below on three or more of the first seven questions:

Question 1: 4

Question 2: 4

Question 3: 3 or 4

Question 4: 3 or 4

Question 5: 3 or 4

Question 6: 3 or 4

Question 7: 3 or 4

Reprinted from The Hunger Fix, © 2012 by Pamela Peeke, MD, with Mariska van Aalst. By permission of Rodale Inc.

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