Eating competence: definition and evidence for the Satter Eating Competence model

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2007 Sep-Oct;39(5 Suppl):S142-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2007.01.006.


The evidence- and practice-based Satter Eating Competence Model (ecSatter) outlines an inclusive definition of the interrelated spectrum of eating attitudes and behaviors. The model is predicated on the utility and effectiveness of biopsychosocial processes: hunger and the drive to survive, appetite and the need for subjective reward and the biological propensity to maintain preferred and stable body weight. According to ecSatter, competent eaters have 1) positive attitudes about eating and about food, 2) food acceptance skills that support eating an ever-increasing variety of the available food, 3) internal regulation skills that allow intuitively consuming enough food to give energy and stamina and to support stable body weight, and 4) skills and resources for managing the food context and orchestrating family meals. Identifying these four constructs allows nutrition professionals to target interventions as well as trust and support the individual's own capabilities and tendency to learn and grow.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Diet / psychology*
  • Diet / standards
  • Feeding Behavior* / psychology
  • Food Preferences / psychology
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Models, Theoretical*