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Appetite. 2007 Mar;48(2):183-92. Epub 2006 Nov 13.

Measurement of dietary restraint: validity tests of four questionnaires.

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Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA.


This study tested the validity of four measures of dietary restraint: Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire, Eating Inventory (EI), Revised Restraint Scale (RS), and the Current Dieting Questionnaire. Dietary restraint has been implicated as a determinant of overeating and binge eating. Conflicting findings have been attributed to different methods for measuring dietary restraint. The validity of four self-report measures of dietary restraint and dieting behavior was tested using: (1) factor analysis, (2) changes in dietary restraint in a randomized controlled trial of different methods to achieve calorie restriction, and (3) correlation of changes in dietary restraint with an objective measure of energy balance, calculated from the changes in fat mass and fat-free mass over a six-month dietary intervention. Scores from all four questionnaires, measured at baseline, formed a dietary restraint factor, but the RS also loaded on a binge eating factor. Based on change scores, the EI Restraint Scale was the only measure that correlated significantly with energy balance expressed as a percentage of energy required for weight maintenance. These findings suggest that, of the four questionnaires tested, the EI Restraint Scale was the most valid measure of the intent to diet and actual caloric restriction.

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