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Measurement and Correlates of Food Selection Motivations in a United States Sample

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Background: In this study, we explored the factors that motivate food choice, and evaluated the psychometric properties and demographic correlates of the Eating Motivation (EATMOT) questionnaire in adults in the United States (US). Methods: This cross-sectional survey involved 905 adults in 6 sites across the US. The EATMOT questionnaire measures participants' self-reported motivations for food selection, demographic, and anthropometric data. Analyses included exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, correlations, Welch's t-tests, and logistic regressions. Results: We established a 3-factor model (health-related, emotional, and environmental/political motivations) as the best fit to the data (CFI = .983, RMSEA = .049, SRMR = .054). Gender differences were found within the 3 factors, as well as in the intercorrelations between factors. Higher levels of health-related motivations (B = .10, SE = .04, OR = 1.11 (95% CI: 1.03, 1.19), p = .006) were associated with increased reports of weight loss dieting, whereas higher levels of environmental/political motivations (B = -.09, SE = .04, OR = 0.91, p = .02) were associated with fewer reports of weight-loss dieting. Conclusion: An abbreviated version of the EATMOT scale is appropriate for use in a US sample and identifies 3 categories of factors that impact dietary choices. These factors may be important in building interventions to improve diets.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Danielle Dunn, Research Coordinator, Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, United States 2: Danielle Keenan-Miller, Associate Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States 3: Kathy K. Isoldi, Associate Professor, Department of Health Sciences and Administration , Long Island University Post, Brookville, NY, United States;, Email: [email protected] 4: Alessandra Sarcona, Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, West Chester, PA, United States 5: Veronika Dolar, Assistant Professor, Department of Politics, Economics and Law, State University of New York (SUNY) at Old Westbury, Old Westbury, NY, United States 6: Raquel P. F. Guiné, Coordinating Professor, CERNAS Research Centre and Department of Food Industry, Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Campus Politécnico, Repeses, Viseu, Portugal

Publication date: April 1, 2022

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

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