What makes dietary restraint problematic? Development and validation of the Inflexible Eating Questionnaire

Appetite. 2017 Jul 1:114:146-154. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.03.034. Epub 2017 Mar 27.


This study presents the Inflexible Eating Questionnaire (IEQ), which measures the inflexible adherence to subjective eating rules. The scale's structure and psychometric properties were examined in distinct samples from the general population comprising both men and women. IEQ presented an 11-item one-dimensional structure, revealed high internal consistency, construct and temporal stability, and discriminated eating psychopathology cases from non-cases. The IEQ presented significant associations with dietary restraint, eating psychopathology, body image inflexibility, general psychopathology symptoms, and decreased intuitive eating. IEQ was a significant moderator on the association between dietary restraint and eating psychopathology symptoms. Findings suggested that the IEQ is a valid and useful instrument with potential implications for research on psychological inflexibility in disordered eating.

Keywords: Confirmatory factor analysis; Eating psychopathology; Inflexible eating; Psychological flexibility; Psychometric properties.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diet / psychology*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Young Adult