Cross-cultural validity of the Intuitive Eating Scale-2. Psychometric evaluation in a sample of the general French population

Appetite. 2015 Jan:84:34-42. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.09.009. Epub 2014 Sep 17.


Intuitive eating is an adaptive dietary behavior that emphasizes eating in response to physiological hunger and satiety cues. The Intuitive Eating Scale-2 (IES-2) measures such attitudes and behaviors. The aim of the present study was to adapt the IES-2 to the French context and to test its psychometric properties in 335 women and 297 men participating in the NutriNet-Santé study. We evaluated the construct validity of the IES-2 by testing hypotheses with regard to its factor structure, relationships with scores of the revised 21-item Three Factor Eating Questionnaire and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale, and differences between "a priori" relevant subgroups. First, the exploratory factor analysis revealed three main dimensions: Eating for Physical Rather than Emotional Reasons, Reliance on Hunger and Satiety Cues, and Unconditional Permission to Eat. Second-order confirmatory factor analysis upheld the 3-factor solution influenced by a broader intuitive eating dimension. IES-2 total score was negatively related to cognitive restraint (r = -0.31, P < 0.0001), emotional eating (r = -0.58, P < 0.0001), uncontrolled eating (r = -0.40, P < 0.0001), and depressive symptoms (r = -0.20, P < 0.0001). IES-2 subscales showed similar correlations. Women had lower scores than did men for the IES-2 total scale (3.3 in women vs. 3.5 in men, P < 0.0001), Eating for Physical Reasons, and Unconditional Permission to Eat subscales. Current or former dieters had lower scores on the IES-2 total scale and on all subscales than did those who had never dieted (all P < 0.01). Finally, results showed satisfactory reliability for the IES-2 total scores (internal consistency = 0.85 and test-retest reliability = 0.79 over a mean 8-week period) and for its subscales. Thus, the French IES-2 can be considered a useful instrument for assessing adult intuitive eating behaviors in empirical and epidemiological studies in the general population.

Keywords: Construct validity; Dietary behavior; Hunger; Intuitive eating; Psychometric properties; Satiety.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cues
  • Culture
  • Depression
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Eating*
  • Emotions
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Hunger*
  • Intuition*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Satiation*
  • Satiety Response
  • Social Control, Informal*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires