The three-factor eating questionnaire to measure dietary restraint, disinhibition and hunger

J Psychosom Res. 1985;29(1):71-83. doi: 10.1016/0022-3999(85)90010-8.


This report describes the construction of a questionnaire to measure three dimensions of human eating behavior. The first step was a collation of items from two existing questionnaires that measure the related concepts of 'restrained eating' and 'latent obesity', to which were added items newly written to elucidate these concepts. This version was administered to several populations selected to include persons who exhibited the spectrum from extreme dietary restraint to extreme lack of restraint. The resulting responses were factor analyzed and the resulting factor structure was used to revise the questionnaire. This process was then repeated: administration of the revised questionnaire to groups representing extremes of dietary restraint, factor analysis of the results and questionnaire revision. Three stable factors emerged: (1) 'cognitive restraint of eating', (2) 'disinhibition' and (3) 'hunger'. The new 51-item questionnaire measuring these factors is presented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diet, Reducing / psychology*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hunger*
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Psychometrics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires