Validation of the intuitive Eating Scale for pregnant women

Appetite. 2017 May 1;112:201-209. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.02.001. Epub 2017 Feb 3.


Pre-pregnancy maladaptive eating behaviors have predicted inadequate or excess gestational weight gain and poor dietary intake during pregnancy, but little is known about effects of pre-pregnancy adaptive eating behaviors on pregnancy outcomes. The purpose of this study was to produce a valid and reliable measure of adaptive pre-pregnancy eating behaviors for pregnant women using the Intuitive Eating Scale. Data were collected from 266 pregnant women, aged 18 and older who were attending a private prenatal clinic at Texas Children's Hospital Pavilion for Women in Houston, TX using self-administered questionnaires. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to validate the factor structure of the Intuitive Easting Scale (IES). Concurrent validity was determined using correlations between the three subscale scores [unconditional permission to eat (UPE), eating for physical not emotional reasons (EPR), and relying on hunger/satiety cues (RIH)], perinatal depression status (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale), and pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) calculated from self-reported height and weight. After discarding 6 items, the second order model did not fit the data, however, the first order model with three latent factors had reasonable fit (RMSEA = 0.097, CFI = 0.961, TLI = 0.951 and WRMR = 1.21). The internal consistency of the scale was confirmed by Cronbach's alphas (UPE = 0.781, EPR = 0.878 and RIH = 0.786). All subscale scores were inversely related to perinatal depression status. EPR and RIH subscale scores were inversely related to pre-pregnancy BMI, supporting the measure's validity. Among pregnant women, the revised 15 item pre-pregnancy IES (IES-PreP) should be used to evaluate pre-pregnancy adaptive eating behaviors.

Keywords: Confirmatory factor analysis; Intuitive eating; Intuitive eating scale; Pregnant women; Validation.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cues
  • Depression / complications
  • Diet*
  • Eating*
  • Emotions
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hunger
  • Intuition*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Pregnant Women* / psychology
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Satiety Response
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Texas
  • Weight Gain