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Uncontrolled, Repetitive Eating of Small Amounts of Food or ‘Grazing’: Development and Evaluation of a New Measure of Atypical Eating

  • Brigitte Lane (a1) and Marianna Szabó (a1)
Abstract

Grazing, or the uncontrolled, repetitive eating of small amounts of food is being increasingly recognised as an important eating behaviour associated with obesity. In spite of the need for a better understanding of this eating behaviour for improved obesity treatment, currently there is no empirically validated self-report measure to assess grazing. Therefore, to contribute to a better understanding of this relatively understudied eating pattern, a new self-report questionnaire of grazing was developed in this study. Questionnaire items were designed to reflect previous empirical descriptions of grazing. A group of 248 university students completed the Grazing Questionnaire, other measures of eating-related behaviours and cognitions, and negative emotion. Sixty-two participants completed the Grazing Questionnaire a second time to calculate its temporal stability. Exploratory factor analysis revealed a clear two-factor solution for the questionnaire, reflecting repetitive eating behaviour and a perception of loss of control. Scores on the Grazing Questionnaire were positively associated with other measures of disordered eating, especially with binge eating. Initial psychometric properties of the new questionnaire are promising. Future research is now needed to examine the prevalence of this eating behaviour in more diverse populations, including those with binge eating disorder and obesity.

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Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr. Marianna Szabó, School of Psychology, Brennan MacCallum Building (A18), The University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia. Email: Marianna.szabo@sydney.edu.au
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Behaviour Change
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