Validation of an instrument to measure registered dietitians'/nutritionists' knowledge, attitudes and practices of an intuitive eating approach

Public Health Nutr. 2016 Dec;19(17):3114-3122. doi: 10.1017/S1368980016001336. Epub 2016 Jun 1.


Objective: The purpose of the present study was to develop and assess the construct validity of a tool to measure knowledge, attitudes and practices of registered dietitians/nutritionists (RD/N) regarding an intuitive eating lifestyle.

Design: Cross-sectional study design that utilized a survey administered to a random sample and remaining full population of RD/N.

Setting: A national survey conducted via online survey software.

Subjects: A random sample of 10 % of all RD/N in the USA (n 8834) was invited to participate. Survey completion rate was 22·2 % (n 1897). After initial validation, the survey was distributed to the remaining 90 % of RD/N to confirm validation.

Results: After removing items with insufficient factor loadings, results were consistent with a four-factor solution: (i) knowledge of intuitive eating; (ii) attitudes towards intuitive eating; (iii) traditional and restrictive practices; and (iv) non-restrictive and intuitive eating practices. Confirmatory factor analysis provided further evidence of the validity of the four factors and the factors had strong reliability.

Conclusions: Unlike the hypothesized three-factor solution (knowledge, attitudes and practices), validation analysis revealed that the survey measures knowledge of intuitive eating, attitudes towards intuitive eating, use of traditional and restrictive weight-management practices, and use of non-restrictive and intuitive eating practices. With the landscape of weight management and health promotion undergoing a shift towards a health centred, size acceptance approach, this instrument will provide valuable information regarding the current knowledge, attitudes and practices of RD/N and other health promotion professionals.

Keywords: attitudes and practices; Intuitive eating; Knowledge; Registered dietitian/nutritionist; Weight-management practices.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritionists / education*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*