OBJECTIVE - To develop a behavioral assessment of eating that would be predictive of fat intake in African American women.
DESIGN - Questionnaires were developed using a three-stage design, involving item generation, item refinement, and questionnaire validation.
SUBJECTS - Focus groups sessions were conducted with 40 African American women, initial questionnaire development employed 80 African American women, and questionnaire validation involved 310 African American women from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Statistical analyses Transcripts of focus groups were used to generate 113 behavioral questionnaire items. The initial questionnaire was administered along with a food frequency questionnaire, and the item pool was reduced to 51 items. Factor analysis was used to create subscales. Correlation (r) and multiple regression analysis (R) were used to evaluate construct validity.
RESULTS - Factor analysis revealed six subscales: low-fat eating, emotional eating, snacking on sweets, cultural/ethnic, haphazard planning, and meal skipping. The scales are significant predictors of micronutrient (R values from 0.22 to 0.47) and macronutrient intakes (R values from 0.33 to 0.58) assessed using a food frequency questionnaire and show construct validity in relationship to other measures of eating behavior (r values from 0.22 to 0.65).
APPLICATIONS - The Eating Behavior Patterns Questionnaire (EBPQ) may be a useful tool for clinical assessment, clinical and community nutrition intervention studies, and epidemiologic research with African American women.