Objective: The primary aim of this study was to develop and validate the Food-Craving Inventory (FCI), a self-report measure of specific food cravings.
Research methods and procedures: In a preliminary study, participants (n = 474) completed the initial version of the FCI. The results from this study were used in developing the revised FCI. Participants (n = 379) completed the revised FCI in the primary study designed to develop a self-report measure of specific food cravings.
Results: Common factor analysis yielded four conceptual factors (subscales) that were interpreted as high fats, sweets, carbohydrates/starches, and fast-food fats. Confirmatory factor analysis found that the four factors could be modeled as dimensions (or first-order factors) of a higher order construct-food craving. Test-retest and internal consistency analyses indicated good reliability for the total score and each of the subscales. Subscale scores were compared with scores on the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire and a conceptual measure of food craving. We found support for the content, concurrent, construct, and discriminant validity of the FCI.
Discussion: The FCI was found to be a reliable and valid measure of general and specific food cravings. The FCI can be used in research related to overeating and binge eating. Also, it may be useful in treatment studies that target obesity and/or food cravings.