The development and validation of the food craving acceptance and action questionnaire (FAAQ)
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2011
Pages: 182 - 187
Source ID: shanti-sources-109041
Collection: Mindfulness Studies and Undergraduates
Abstract: Research has suggested that mindfulness and acceptance may be important factors in the development, maintenance and treatment of both obesity and eating disorders. However, very few scales exist that apply constructs of acceptance and mindfulness to eating behavior. A measure of acceptance about food related thoughts would be especially beneficial in investigating links between acceptance and problematic eating, and in better understanding mechanisms of action of effective treatments for obesity and eating disorders. The Food Acceptance and Awareness Questionnaire (FAAQ) was developed to measure acceptance of urges and cravings to eat or the extent to which individuals might try to control or change these thoughts. The FAAQ is a self-report questionnaire made up of ten items each rated on a seven-point Likert scale (1=very seldom true to 6=always true). Higher scores indicate greater acceptance of motivations to eat. The FAAQ was given to a sample of 463 undergraduate students along with several other measures of eating behavior and other psychological variables. Concurrent associations with variables theorized to be closely linked (Eating Attitudes Test, EAT; the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire, DEBQ; body mass index, BMI) and not very closely linked (the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, DASS) were evaluated in order to indicate the new scale's convergent and divergent validity. These results demonstrated highly significant correlations with these measures in the expected direction, with stronger correlations for the theoretically-consistent variables than the theoretically-inconsistent variables. Exploratory factor analyses confirmed a structural two-factor model. Factor 1 seems to measure one's ability to regulate eating despite urges and cravings, and Factor 2 seems to measure desire to maintain internal control over eating thoughts. The FAAQ was also administered to a separate sample of 29 overweight or obese women enrolled in a weight loss program, and found to be predictive of weight loss. Taken together, results suggest that the FAAQ is a psychometrically sound instrument which might be a valuable tool for assessing acceptance of food related thoughts and urges.