The German version of the Dutch eating behavior questionnaire: Psychometric properties, measurement invariance, and population-based norms

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Abstract

The Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire is an internationally widely used instrument assessing different eating styles that may contribute to weight gain and overweight: emotional eating, external eating, and restraint. This study aimed to evaluate the psychometric properties of the 30-item German version of the DEBQ including its measurement invariance across gender, age, and BMI-status in a representative German population sample. Furthermore, we examined the distribution of eating styles in the general population and provide population-based norms for DEBQ scales. A representative sample of the German general population (N = 2513, age ≥ 14 years) was assessed with the German version of the DEBQ along with information on sociodemographic characteristics and body weight and height. The German version of the DEQB demonstrates good item characteristics and reliability (restraint: α = .92, emotional eating: α = .94, external eating: α = .89). The 3-factor structure of the DEBQ could be replicated in exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses and results of multi-group confirmatory factor analyses supported its metric and scalar measurement invariance across gender, age, and BMI-status. External eating was the most prevalent eating style in the German general population. Women scored higher on emotional and restrained eating scales than men, and overweight individuals scored higher in all three eating styles compared to normal weight individuals. Small differences across age were found for external eating. Norms were provided according to gender, age, and BMI-status. Our findings suggest that the German version of the DEBQ has good reliability and construct validity, and is suitable to reliably measure eating styles across age, gender, and BMI-status. Furthermore, the results demonstrate a considerable variation of eating styles across gender and BMI-status.

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Nagl, M., Hilbert, A., De Zwaan, M., Braehler, E., & Kersting, A. (2016). The German version of the Dutch eating behavior questionnaire: Psychometric properties, measurement invariance, and population-based norms. PLoS ONE, 11(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0162510

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