The Satter Eating Competence Inventory for Low-income Persons Is a Valid Measure of Eating Competence for Persons of Higher Socioeconomic Position

Appetite. 2015 Apr;87:223-8. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.12.228. Epub 2014 Dec 31.


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / psychology
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Food Preferences*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents
  • Poverty*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult