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Nutrients 2015, 7(5), 3828-3846; doi:10.3390/nu7053828

Preliminary Finnish Measures of Eating Competence Suggest Association with Health-Promoting Eating Patterns and Related Psychobehavioral Factors in 10–17 Year Old Adolescents

1
Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, PO Box 1627, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
2
Department of Public Health, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland
3
Department of Public Health, University of Skövde, PO Box 408, 54128, Skövde, Sweden
4
Department of Sport Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, PO Box 35, 40014 Jyväskylä, Finland
5
VTT—Technical Research Centre of Finland, PO Box 1000, 02044 VTT, Finland
6
Institute of Clinical Medicine, Internal Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, PO Box 100, 70029 KYS, Kuopio, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 November 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2015 / Published: 21 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition: A Social Psychological Perspective)
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Abstract

Eating competence is an attitudinal and behavioral concept, based on The Satter Eating Competence Model. In adults, it has been shown to be associated with a higher quality of diet. Eating competence or its association with the quality of diet has not been studied in adolescents. The aim of the current study was to explore the utility of using a preliminary Finnish translation of the ecSI 2.0 for evaluating presumed eating competence and its association with food selection, meal patterns and related psychobehavioral factors in 10–17 year old adolescents. Altogether 976 10–17 years old Finnish adolescents filled in the study questionnaire. When exploring the construct validity of ecSI 2.0, the confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) indicated acceptable model fit and all four components of the ecSI 2.0 (eating attitudes, food acceptance, internal regulation of food intake, management of eating context) correlated with each other and were internally consistent. Over half (58%) of the adolescents scored 32 or higher and were thus classified as presumably eating competent (pEC). Eating competence was associated with greater meal frequency, more frequent consumption of vegetables and fruits, and more health-promoting family eating patterns. In addition the pEC, adolescents more often perceived their body size as appropriate, had less often tried to lose weight and had a higher self-esteem and a stronger sense of coherence than the not pEC ones. Family eating patterns and self-esteem were the main underlying factors of eating competence. In conclusion, this preliminary study suggests eating competence could be a useful concept to characterize eating patterns and related behaviors and attitudes in adolescents. However, these preliminary findings need to be confirmed in further studies with an instrument fully validated for this age group. View Full-Text
Keywords: eating competence; eating patterns; adolescents; sense of coherence; self-esteem; body weight eating competence; eating patterns; adolescents; sense of coherence; self-esteem; body weight
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tanja, T.-T.; Outi, N.; Sakari, S.; Jarmo, L.; Kaisa, P.; Leila, K. Preliminary Finnish Measures of Eating Competence Suggest Association with Health-Promoting Eating Patterns and Related Psychobehavioral Factors in 10–17 Year Old Adolescents. Nutrients 2015, 7, 3828-3846.

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