Eating competence is an important behavioral construct, shown to be associated with healthful lifestyle practices, including dietary quality, weight management, physical activity, and sleep duration. A 16-item instrument to measure eating competence, the Satter Eating Competence Inventory was previously validated in a general sample and subsequently, a 16-item instrument was developed to address specific concerns of low-income persons; 12 items were common to both instruments. The purpose of this study was to determine if the low-income version could be applied to a general audience, simplifying intervention evaluation and facilitating cross-study comparison. Both surveys were fully completed by 127 parents (89% white; 35.8 ± 5.3 y; 86% college graduates; 51% eating competent) of preschool-age children; 96 of whom were not considered low-income. Cognitive interviews with 14 parents of varying eating competence levels clarified and confirmed findings. Scores were highly correlated (r = .98) and only 2 of the 96 were not congruently classified for eating competence. Mean difference between the two versions was .24 ± 1.55. The general audience version explained 95% of the variance in the low-income version score. Findings support the low-income version of the Satter Eating Competence Inventory for general audience use as the Satter Eating Competence Inventory 2.0.
Keywords: Assessment; Eating behavior; Eating competence; Instrument; Low income; Psychometric.
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