Skip to main content Accessibility help

Development and validation of the Child Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (CTFEQr17)

  • Eleanor J Bryant (a1), David Thivel (a2), Jean-Philippe Chaput (a3), Vicky Drapeau (a4), John E Blundell (a5) and Neil A King (a6)...



To develop and validate a child and adolescent version of the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (CTFEQr17) and to assess its psychometric properties and factor structure. We also examined associations between the CTFEQr17 and BMI and food preferences.


A two-phase approach was utilized, employing both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.


Primary and secondary schools, UK.


In phase 1, seventy-six children (thirty-nine boys; mean age 12·3 (sd 1·4) years) were interviewed to ascertain their understanding of the original TFEQr21 and to develop accessible and understandable items to create the CTFEQr17. In phase 2, 433 children (230 boys; mean age 12·0 (sd 1·7) years) completed the CTFEQr17 and a food preference questionnaire, a sub-sample (n 253; 131 boys) had their height and weight measured, and forty-five children (twenty-three boys) were interviewed to determine their understanding of the CTFEQr17.


The CTFEQr17 showed good internal consistency (Cronbach’s α=0·85) and the three-factor structure was retained: cognitive restraint (CR), uncontrolled eating (UE) and emotional eating (EE). Qualitative data demonstrated a high level of understanding of the questionnaire (95 %). High CR was found to be significantly associated with a higher body weight, BMI and BMI percentile. High UE and EE scores were related to a preference for high-fat savoury and high-fat sweet foods. The relationships between CTFEQr17, anthropometry and food preferences were stronger for girls than boys.


The CTFEQr17 is a psychometrically sound questionnaire for use in children and adolescents, and associated with anthropometric and food preference measures.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Development and validation of the Child Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (CTFEQr17)
      Available formats

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Development and validation of the Child Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (CTFEQr17)
      Available formats

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Development and validation of the Child Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (CTFEQr17)
      Available formats


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email


Hide All
1. GBD 2015 Obesity Collaborators (2017) Health effects of overweight and obesity in 195 countries over 25 years. N Eng J Med 377, 1327.
2. Ogden, CL, Lamb, MM, Carroll, MD et al. (2010) Obesity and socioeconomic status in children and adolescents: United States, 2005–2008. NCHS Data Brief issue 51, 18.
3. Cattaneo, A, Monasta, L, Stamatakis, E et al. (2010) Overweight and obesity in infants and pre-school children in the European Union: a review of existing data. Obes Rev 11, 389398.
4. Swinburn, B, Egger, G & Raza, F (1999) Dissecting obesogenic environments: the development and application of a framework for identifying and prioritizing environmental interventions for obesity. Prev Med 29, 563570.
5. Swinburn, BA, Sacks, G, Hall, KD et al. (2011) The global obesity pandemic: shaped by global drivers and local environments. Lancet 378, 804814.
6. Gallant, AR, Tremblay, A, Pérusse, L et al. (2010) The Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire and BMI in adolescents: results from the Québec Family Study. Br J Nutr 104, 10741079.
7. Chaput, JP, Leblanc, C, Pérusse, L et al. (2009) Risk factors for adult overweight and obesity in the Quebec Family Study: have we been barking up the wrong tree? Obesity (Silver Spring) 17, 19641970.
8. van Strien, T, Herman, CP & Verheijden, MW (2012) Eating style, overeating and weight gain. A prospective 2-year follow-up study in a representative Dutch sample. Appetite 59, 782789.
9. Snoek, HM, Engels, RC, van Strien, T et al. (2013) Emotional, external and restrained eating behaviour and BMI trajectories in adolescence. Appetite 67, 8187.
10. Polivy, J & Herman, CP (1976) Effects of alcohol on eating behavior: influence of mood and perceived intoxication. J Abnorm Psychol 85, 601606.
11. Meyer, JE & Pudel, VE (1977) Experimental feeding in man: a behavioral approach to obesity. Psychosom Med 39, 153157.
12. Bryant, EJ, King, NA & Blundell, JE (2008) Disinhibition: its effect on appetite and weight regulation. Obes Rev 9, 409419.
13. Cappelleri, JC, Bushmakin, AG, Gerber, RA et al. (2009) Psychometric analysis of the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire-R21: results from a large diverse sample of obese and non-obese participants. Int J Obes (Lond) 33, 611620.
14. Karlsson, J, Persson, LO, Sjöström, L et al. (2000) Psychometric properties and factor structure of the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ) in obese men and women. Results from the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 24, 17151725.
15. Stunkard, AJ & Messick, S (1985) The three-factor eating questionnaire to measure dietary restraint, disinhibition and hunger. J Psychosom Res 29, 7183.
16. Karakuş, , Yıldırım, H & Büyüköztürk, Ş (2016) Adaptation of three factor eating questionnaire (TFEQ-R21) into Turkish culture: a validity and reliability study. TAF Prev Med Bull 15, 229237.
17. Drapeau, V, Depres, JP, Bouchard, C et al. (2004) Modifications in food-group consumption are related to long-term body-weight changes. Am J Clin Nutr 80, 2937.
18. de Medeiros, ACQ, Yamamoto, ME, Pedrosa, LFC et al. (2016) The Brazilian version of the three-factor eating questionnaire-R21: psychometric evaluation and scoring pattern. Eat Weight Disord 22, 169175.
19. Martín-García, M, Vila-Maldonado, S, Rodríguez-Gómez, I et al. (2016) The Spanish version of the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire-R21 for children and adolescents (TFEQ-R21C): psychometric analysis and relationships with body composition and fitness variables. Physiol Behav 165, 350357.
20. de Onis, M, Onyango, AW, Borghi, E et al. (2007) Development of a WHO growth reference for school-aged children and adolescents. Bull World Health Organ 85, 660667.
21. Halford, JCG, Boyland, EJ, Cooper, GD et al. (2008) Children’s food preferences: effects of weight status, food type, branding and television food advertisements (commercials). Int J Pediatr Obes 3, 3138.
22. Halberstadt, J, van Strien, T, de Vet, E et al. (2016) The association of eating styles with weight change after an intensive combination lifestyle intervention for children and adolescents with severe obesity. Appetite 99, 8290.
23. Stroebe, W, van Koningsbruggen, GM, Papies, EK et al. (2013) Why most dieters fail but some succeed: a goal conflict model of eating behavior. Psychol Rev 120, 110138.
24. Veling, H, Aarts, H & Papies, EK (2011) Using stop signals to inhibit chronic dieters’ responses toward palatable foods. Behav Res Ther 49, 771780.
25. van Strien, T, Herman, CP & Verheijden, MW (2014) Dietary restraint and body mass change. A 3-year follow-up study in a representative Dutch sample. Appetite 76, 4449.
26. Kemps, E, Herman, CP, Hollitt, S et al. (2016) The role of expectations in the effect of food exposure on food intake. Appetite 103, 259264.
27. Graham, A, Gluck, ME, Votruba, SB et al. (2014) Perseveration augments the effect of cognitive restraint on ad libitum food intake in adults seeking weight loss. Appetite 82, 7884.
28. Roberts, CJ, Campbell, IC & Troop, N (2013) Increases in weight during chronic stress are partially associated with a switch in food choice towards increased carbohydrate and saturated fat intake. Eur Eat Disord Rev 22, 7782.
29. Bryant, EJ, Kiezebrink, K, King, NA et al. (2010) Interaction between disinhibition and restraint: implications for body weight and eating disturbance. Eat Weight Disord 15, e43e51.
30. Anglé, S, Engblom, J, Eriksson, T et al. (2009) Three factor eating questionnaire R18 as a measure of cognitive restraint, uncontrolled eating and emotional eating in a sample of young Finnish females. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 6, 41.
31. de Lauzon, B, Roman, M, Deschamps, V et al. (2004) The Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire R18 is able to distinguish among different eating patterns in the general population. J Nutr 134, 23722380.
32. Konttinen, H, Haukala, A, Sarlio-Lähteenkarva, S et al. (2009) Eating styles, self-control and obesity indicators. The moderating role of obesity status and dieting history on restrained eating. Appetite 53, 131134.
33. Green, GW, Schembre, SM, White, AA et al. (2011) Identifying clusters of college students at elevated health risk based on eating and exercise behaviors and psychosocial determinants of body weight. J Am Diet Assoc 111, 394400.
34. Keskitalo, K, Tuorila, H, Spector, TD et al. (2008) The three factor eating questionnaire, body mass index, and responses to sweet and salty fatty foods: a twin study of genetic and environmental associations. Am J Clin Nutr 88, 263271.
35. Camilleri, GM, Méjean, C, Kesse-Guyot, E et al. (2014) The associations between emotional eating and consumption of energy-dense snack foods are modified by sex and depressive symptomology. J Nutr 144, 12641273.
36. Gerstein, DE, Woodward-Lopez, G, Evans, AE et al. (2004) Clarifying concepts about macronutrients’ effects on satiation and satiety. J Am Diet Assoc 104, 11511153.
37. Westerterp, KR (2006) Perception, passive overfeeding and energy metabolism. Physiol Behav 89, 6265.
38. Blundell, JE & MacDiarmid, JI (1997) Fat as a risk factor for overconsumption: satiation, satiety and patterns of eating. J Am Diet Assoc 97, 7 Suppl, S63S69.
39. Caine-Bish, NL & Scheule, B (2009) Gender differences in food preferences of school-aged children and adolescents. J Sch Health 79, 532540.
40. Arganini, C, Saba, A, Comitato, F et al. (2012) Gender differences in food choice and dietary intake in modern western societies. In Public Health – Social and Behavioral Health, Chapter 4 [J Maddock, editor]. InTech: Open Science; available at
41. Vagstrand, K, Linne, Y, Karlsson, J et al. (2009) Correlates of soft drink and fruit juice consumption among Swedish adolescents. Br J Nutr 101, 15411548.
42. Péneau, S, Ménard, E, Méjean, C et al. (2013) Sex and dieting modify the association between emotional eating and weight status. Am J Clin Nutr 97, 13071313.
43. Hainer, V, Kanesova, M, Bellisle, F et al. (2006) The eating inventory, body adiposity and prevention of diseases in a quota of Czech adults. Int J Obes (Lond) 30, 830836.
44. Provencher, V, Drapeau, V, Tremblay, A et al. (2003) Eating behaviors and indices of body composition in men and women from the Québec family study. Obes Res 11, 783792.
45. Finlayson, G & Dalton, M (2012) Current progress in the assessment of ‘liking’ vs. ‘wanting’ food in human appetite. Comment on ‘“You say it’s liking, I say it’s wanting...”. On the difficulty of disentangling food reward in man’. Appetite 58, 373378.
46. Finlayson, G, Bordes, I, Griffioen-Roose, S et al. (2012) Susceptibility to overeating affects the impact of savory or sweet drinks on satiation, reward, and food intake in nonobese women. Am Soc Nutr 142, 125130.
47. Prentice, AM & Jebb, SA (2001) Beyond body mass index. Obes Rev 2, 141147.
48. Wells, JCK, Coward, WA, Cole, TJ et al. (2002) The contribution of fat and fat-free tissue to body mass index in contemporary children and the reference child. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 26, 13231329.


Development and validation of the Child Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (CTFEQr17)

  • Eleanor J Bryant (a1), David Thivel (a2), Jean-Philippe Chaput (a3), Vicky Drapeau (a4), John E Blundell (a5) and Neil A King (a6)...


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed