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EMAC 2023 Annual

A Review and Comparison of Eating Motivation Scales

Published: May 24, 2023


Liamell Quezada, Siena College; Sukriye Atakan, Siena College


Researchers and practitioners have a wide variety of scales to choose from when they want to investigate food consumption motivations. The goal of this research is to review and compare these scales. An extensive literature review revealed five direct scales (in English) that measure eating motivations. Content analysis of the dimensions that make up the scales pinpoints that eating motivations are related to a wide range of physiological, psychological, social, and functional factors. We find that at least eight specific motivations drive our eating behavior: healthy and weight (nutritious, natural content, weight control), mood/affect regulation, reward, sensory pleasure, ethical concerns, social (compliance, socialization, enhancing image, social exposure), mindless eating, and functional/practical concerns. The findings give a comprehensive overview of eating motivations and assists researchers and practitioners to identify the right scale(s) given their research goals.