The Intuitive Eating Scale-2: item refinement and psychometric evaluation with college women and men

J Couns Psychol. 2013 Jan;60(1):137-53. doi: 10.1037/a0030893.


The 21-item Intuitive Eating Scale (IES; Tylka, 2006) measures individuals' tendency to follow their physical hunger and satiety cues when determining when, what, and how much to eat. While its scores have demonstrated reliability and validity with college women, the IES-2 was developed to improve upon the original version. Specifically, we added 17 positively scored items to the original IES items (which were predominantly negatively scored), integrated an additional component of intuitive eating (Body-Food Choice Congruence), and evaluated its psychometric properties with 1,405 women and 1,195 men across three studies. After we deleted 15 items (due to low item-factor loadings, high cross-loadings, and redundant content), the results supported the psychometric properties of the IES-2 with women and men. The final 23-item IES-2 contained 11 original items and 12 added items. Exploratory and second-order confirmatory factor analyses upheld its hypothesized 4-factor structure (its original 3 factors, plus Body-Food Choice Congruence) and a higher order factor. The IES-2 was largely invariant across sex, although negligible differences on 1 factor loading and 2 item intercepts were detected. Demonstrating validity, the IES-2 total scores and most IES-2 subscale scores were (a) positively related to body appreciation, self-esteem, and satisfaction with life; (b) inversely related to eating disorder symptomatology, poor interoceptive awareness, body surveillance, body shame, body mass index, and internalization of media appearance ideals; and (c) negligibly related to social desirability. IES-2 scores also garnered incremental validity by predicting psychological well-being above and beyond eating disorder symptomatology. The IES-2's applications for empirical research and clinical work are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Image / psychology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Choice Behavior / physiology
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hunger / physiology
  • Intuition / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwestern United States
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Satiety Response / physiology
  • Self Concept
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Young Adult