Food cravings have been implicated in the development and maintenance of a range of eating- and weight-related pathology. The rapid and accurate assessment of food cravings is thus critical in clinical and research settings. Existing measures of specific food cravings are often not suitable for capturing the multiple facets of the craving experience. A short version of the Food Cravings Questionnaire-Trait (FCQ-T), the most widely used measure of general food cravings, was recently developed in German and shown to be a one-factorial, internally reliable measure. Other recent studies validated an Italian and Spanish version of the FCQ-T-reduced (FCQ-T-r) and successfully replicated its basic psychometrics. This study sought to examine the psychometric properties of the English version of the FCQ-T-r. Undergraduate students (n=610, 51.0% female, 53.9% white/Caucasian) completed a battery of questionnaires containing the FCQ-T-r and measures of specific food cravings, eating style, eating disorder symptoms, weight dissatisfaction, and impulsivity. Even though results of a confirmatory factor analysis suggested poor fit with a one-factorial model, the FCQ-T-r was found to be a one-factorial measure in both principal component and parallel analysis. The FCQ-T-r demonstrated excellent internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's α=.94), and scores were significantly and positively correlated with measures of specific food cravings, restrained eating, eating disorder symptoms, and impulsivity. More work is needed to confirm the factor structure of the English FCQ-T-r, but preliminary findings suggest that it constitutes a valid and reliable alternative to lengthier measures of general food cravings.
Keywords: Assessment; Eating disorders; Food Cravings Questionnaire-Trait; Food cravings; Impulsivity; Psychometrics.
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