Although the concept of ‘food addiction’ (FA) has raised growing interest because of evidence for similarities between substance dependence and excessive food intake, there is a lack of studies that explore this construct among the wide spectrum of eating disorders (EDs). Besides providing validation scores of a Spanish version of the Yale FA Scale (YFAS‐S), this study examined the prevalence of ‘FA’ among ED subtypes compared with healthy‐eating controls (HCs) and the association between ‘FA’ scores, eating symptomatology and general psychopathology. A sample of 125 adult women with ED, diagnosed according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 criteria, and 82 healthy‐eating women participated in the study. All participants were assessed with the YFAS‐S, the ED Inventory‐2 and the Symptom Checklist‐Revised. Results showed that the internal structure of the one‐dimensional solution for the YFAS‐S was very good ( α = 0.95). The YFAS‐S has a good discriminative capacity to differentiate between ED and controls (specificity = 97.6% and sensitivity (Se) = 72.8%; area under receiver operating characteristic curve = 0.90) and a good Se to screen for specific ED subtypes. YFAS‐S scores were associated with higher levels of negative affect and depression, higher general psychopathology, more severe eating pathology and greater body mass index. When comparing the prevalence of ‘FA’ between ED subtypes, the lowest prevalence of ‘FA’, measured with the YFAS‐S, was for the anorexia nervosa (AN) restrictive subtype with 50%, and the highest was for the AN binge–purging subtype (85.7%), followed by bulimia nervosa (81.5%) and binge eating disorder (76.9%). In conclusion, higher YFAS‐S scores are associated with bingeing ED‐subtype patients and with more eating severity and psychopathology. Although the ‘FA’ construct is able to differentiate between ED and HC, it needs to be further explored. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association
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