Title

Measuring 'Orthorexia': Development of the Eating Habits Questionnaire

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Department

Psychology

Language

English

Publication Title

The International Journal of Educational and Psychological Assessment

Abstract

As a preliminary step in researching “orthorexia nervosa,” an alleged syndrome characterized by a pathological fixation on healthy eating, we designed the 21-item Eating Habits Questionnaire (EHQ) to assess the cognitions, behaviors, and feelings related to an extreme focus on healthy eating. Study 1 (n = 174) examined the factor structure of the EHQ and refined the instrument with exploratory factor analysis. Results suggested a 3-factor solution with the following subscales: knowledge of healthy eating, problems associated with healthy eating, and feeling positively about healthy eating. The subscales displayed good internal consistency (α = .87 to .91) and test-retest reliability (r =.74 to .87). Study 2 examined the fit of the 3-factor model in a new sample (n = 213) with confirmatory factor analysis. After eliminating poorly fitting items, model fit was adequate with good internal consistency (α = .82 to .90) and test-retest reliability (r = .72 to .81) of the subscales. Examination of correlations between the EHQ subscales and a variety of other measures, and comparisons of nutrition students with non-nutrition students on EHQ subscales provided preliminary evidence for convergent, discriminant, and criterion-related validity.

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