Measuring eating competence: psychometric properties and validity of the ecSatter Inventory

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2007 Sep-Oct;39(5 Suppl):S154-66. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2007.04.371.


Objective: Assess validity of the ecSatter Inventory (ecSI) to measure eating competence (EC).

Design: Concurrent administration of ecSI with validated measures of eating behaviors using on-line and paper-pencil formats.

Setting: The on-line survey was completed by 370 participants; 462 completed the paper version.

Participants: Participants included 863 adults with 832 usable surveys from respondents (mean age 36.2 +/- 13.4 years) without eating disorders, mostly female, white, educated, overweight, physically active, and food secure. Of those indicating intent to complete the on-line survey, 80.3% did so; 54% of mailed surveys were returned.

Variables measured: Eating and food behaviors compared among EC tertiles and between dichotomous EC categories; internal consistency of ecSI.

Analysis: Analysis of variance, independent t tests, chi-square, factor analysis, logistic regression. Significance level was P < .05.

Results: Mean ecSI score was 31.1 +/- 7.5. ecSI included 4 subscales with internal reliability and content validity. Construct validity was supported by specific behavioral profiles for ecSI tertiles and ecSI dichotomized categories. Persons unsatisfied with weight were 54% less likely to be EC; unit increase in the food like index was associated with nearly 3 times greater likelihood of being EC.

Conclusions and implications: The ecSatter Inventory is a valid measure of EC and can be used for descriptive and outcome measurements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Diet / psychology
  • Diet / standards
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Feeding Behavior* / psychology
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / psychology
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Nutrition Surveys*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*