Research Original Research: Brief| Volume 118, ISSUE 7, P1277-1290.e4, July 2018

The Mindful Eating Behavior Scale: Development and Psychometric Properties in a Sample of Dutch Adults Aged 55 Years and Older

Published:April 11, 2018DOI:



      Earlier scales on mindful eating do not measure mindful eating independent from emotional or external eating, or mindful eating in common situations.


      The objective was to develop a new instrument to measure the attention element of mindful eating, the Mindful Eating Behavior Scale (MEBS), and to compute the internal structure, reliabilities, and convergent validity of this scale.


      A cross-sectional ancillary study within the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam was conducted between fall 2014 and spring 2015.


      Participants were 1,227 Dutch adults aged 55 years and older from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam.

      Main outcome measure

      A selection of 20 items from existing instruments was used to design an initial version of the MEBS.

      Statistical analyses performed

      The internal structure of the MEBS was evaluated using an exploratory structural equation modeling approach on half of the sample and confirmatory factor analysis on the whole sample to develop the final version of the scale. The measurement invariance of the scores was tested with respect to sex, age, and body mass index. Reliabilities of subscales were determined with Cronbach’s α. To test convergent validity, the scores of the new scale were correlated with theoretically relevant variables.


      Two items were deleted because of low item loadings and one item because of high correlated uniqueness. The final confirmatory factor analysis model with 17 items and four domains (Focused Eating, Hunger and Satiety Cues, Eating with Awareness, and Eating without Distraction) showed good fit (comparative fit index=0.97, Tucker-Lewis index=0.96, and root mean square error of approximation=0.04). Measurement invariance was found for sex, age, and body mass index. Cronbach’s α values were medium to high (.70 to .89). Most correlations were in the expected directions, which indicated good preliminary convergent validity.


      The MEBS was successfully developed consisting of 17 items and four domains. Because of low interfactor correlations, a total score combining the four domains should not be computed. The MEBS showed good internal consistency and preliminary convergent validity in a sample of Dutch adults aged 55 years and older.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Wanden-Berghe R.G.
        • Sanz-Valero J.
        • Wanden-Berghe C.
        The application of mindfulness to eating disorders treatment: A systematic review.
        Eat Disord. 2010; 19: 34-48
        • Hofmann S.G.
        • Sawyer A.T.
        • Witt A.A.
        • Oh D.
        The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review.
        J Consult Clin Psychol. 2010; 78: 169-183
        • Klainin-Yobas P.
        • Cho M.A.A.
        • Creedy D.
        Efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions on depressive symptoms among people with mental disorders: A meta-analysis.
        Int J Nurs Stud. 2012; 49: 109-121
        • Keng S.-L.
        • Smoski M.J.
        • Robins C.J.
        Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: A review of empirical studies.
        Clin Psychol Rev. 2011; 31: 1041-1056
        • Mantzios M.
        • Wilson J.C.
        Mindfulness, eating behaviours, and obesity: A review and reflection on current findings.
        Curr Obes Rep. 2015; 4: 141-146
        • Papies E.K.
        • Barsalou L.W.
        • Custers R.
        Mindful attention prevents mindless impulses.
        Social Psychol Personality Sci. 2012; 3: 291-299
        • O'Reilly G.A.
        • Cook L.
        • Spruijt-Metz D.
        • Black D.S.
        Mindfulness-based interventions for obesity-related eating behaviours: A literature review.
        Obes Rev. 2014; 15: 453-461
        • Godfrey K.M.
        • Gallo L.C.
        • Afari N.
        Mindfulness-based interventions for binge eating: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
        J Behav Med. 2015; 38: 348-362
        • Schaefer J.T.
        • Magnuson A.B.
        A review of interventions that promote eating by internal cues.
        J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014; 114: 734-760
        • Framson C.
        • Kristal A.R.
        • Schenk J.M.
        • Littman A.J.
        • Zeliadt S.
        • Benitez D.
        Development and validation of the mindful eating questionnaire.
        J Am Diet Assoc. 2009; 109: 1439-1444
        • Hulbert-Williams L.
        • Nicholls W.
        • Joy J.
        • Hulbert-Williams N.
        Initial validation of the mindful eating scale.
        Mindfulness. 2014; 5: 719-729
        • Clementi C.
        • Casu G.
        • Gremigni P.
        An abbreviated version of the Mindful Eating Questionnaire.
        J Nutr Educ Behav. 2017; 49: 352-356
        • Bishop S.R.
        • Lau M.
        • Shapiro S.
        • et al.
        Mindfulness: A proposed operational definition.
        Clin Psychol Sci Pract. 2004; 11: 230-241
        • Brown K.W.
        • Ryan R.M.
        The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being.
        J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003; 84: 822
        • Shapiro S.L.
        • Carlson L.E.
        • Astin J.A.
        • Freedman B.
        Mechanisms of mindfulness.
        J Clin Psychol. 2006; 62: 373-386
        • Baer R.A.
        • Smith G.T.
        • Hopkins J.
        • Krietemeyer J.
        • Toney L.
        Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness.
        Assessment. 2006; 13: 27-45
        • Brown K.W.
        • Ryan R.M.
        Perils and promise in defining and measuring mindfulness: Observations from experience.
        Clin Psychol Sci Pract. 2004; 11: 242-248
        • Tapper K.
        Can mindfulness influence weight management related eating behaviors? If so, how?.
        Clin Psychol Rev. 2017; 53: 122-134
        • Hoogendijk E.O.
        • Deeg D.J.H.
        • Poppelaars J.
        • et al.
        The Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam: Cohort update 2016 and major findings.
        Eur J Epidemiol. 2016; 31: 927-945
        • Huisman M.
        • Poppelaars J.
        • van der Horst M.
        • et al.
        Cohort profile: The Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam.
        Int J Epidemiol. 2011; 40: 868-876
        • Tylka T.L.
        • Kroon Van Diest A.M.
        The Intuitive Eating Scale–2: Item refinement and psychometric evaluation with college women and men.
        J Couns Psychol. 2013; 60: 137
        • Carrier L.M.
        • Cheever N.A.
        • Rosen L.D.
        • Benitez S.
        • Chang J.
        Multitasking across generations: Multitasking choices and difficulty ratings in three generations of Americans.
        Comput Human Behav. 2009; 25: 483-489
        • De Vet H.C.
        • Terwee C.B.
        • Mokkink L.B.
        • Knol D.L.
        Measurement in Medicine: A Practical Guide.
        Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK2011
        • Stel V.S.
        • Smit J.H.
        • Pluijm S.M.
        • Visser M.
        • Deeg D.J.
        • Lips P.
        Comparison of the LASA Physical Activity Questionnaire with a 7-day diary and pedometer.
        J Clin Epidemiol. 2004; 57: 252-258
        • Beukers M.
        • Dekker L.
        • De Boer E.
        • et al.
        Development of the HELIUS food frequency questionnaires: Ethnic-specific questionnaires to assess the diet of a multiethnic population in The Netherlands.
        Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015; 69: 579-584
        • Van Strien T.
        • Donker M.H.
        • Ouwens M.A.
        Is desire to eat in response to positive emotions an ‘obese’eating style: Is Kummerspeck for some people a misnomer?.
        Appetite. 2016; 100: 225-235
        • Paans N.P.
        • Bot M.
        • van Strien T.
        • Brouwer I.A.
        • Visser M.
        • Penninx B.W.J.H.
        Eating styles in major depressive disorder: Results from a large-scale study.
        J Psychiatr Res. 2018; 97: 38-46
        • Van Strien T.
        Nederlandse Vragenlijst voor Eetgedrag (NVE): Handleiding [Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire: Manual].
        Hogrefe, Amsterdam, the Netherlands2015
        • Van Zonneveld R.
        The Health of the Aged.
        Van Gorcum, Assen, the Netherlands1961
        • Cohen S.
        • Williamson G.
        Perceived stress in a probability sample of the US.
        in: Spacapam S. Oskamp S. The Social Psychology of Health: Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology. Sage, Newbury Park, CA1988: 31-67
        • Cohen S.
        • Kamarck T.
        • Mermelstein R.
        A global measure of perceived stress.
        J Health Soc Behav. 1983; 24: 385-396
        • Radloff L.S.
        The CES-D scale a self-report depression scale for research in the general population.
        Appl Psychol Meas. 1977; 1: 385-401
        • Beekman A.T.
        • Deeg D.
        • Van Limbeek J.
        • Braam A.W.
        • De Vries M.
        • Van Tilburg W.
        Criterion validity of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D): results from a community-based sample of older subjects in the Netherlands.
        Psychol Med. 1997; 27: 231-235
        • Bagby R.M.
        • Parker J.D.
        • Taylor G.J.
        The twenty-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale—I. Item selection and cross-validation of the factor structure.
        J Psychosom Res. 1994; 38: 23-32
        • Kooiman C.
        • Spinhoven P.
        • Trijsburg R.
        The assessment of alexithymia: A critical review of the literature and a psychometric study of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20.
        J Psychosom Res. 2002; 53: 1083-1090
        • Ziegelmann J.P.
        • Lippke S.
        Planning and strategy use in health behavior change: A life span view.
        Int J Behav Med. 2007; 14: 30-39
        • Freund A.M.
        • Baltes P.B.
        Life-management strategies of selection, optimization and compensation: Measurement by self-report and construct validity.
        J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002; 82: 642
        • Rosenberg M.
        Society and the Adolescent Self-Image.
        Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ1965
        • Garrido L.E.
        • Abad F.J.
        • Ponsoda V.
        A new look at Horn’s parallel analysis with ordinal variables.
        Psychol Methods. 2013; 18: 454
        • Asparouhov T.
        • Muthén B.
        Exploratory structural equation modeling.
        Struct Equ Modeling. 2009; 16: 397-438
        • Sánchez-Carracedo D.
        • Barrada J.R.
        • López-Guimerà G.
        • Fauquet J.
        • Almenara C.A.
        • Trepat E.
        Analysis of the factor structure of the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire (SATAQ-3) in Spanish secondary-school students through exploratory structural equation modeling.
        Body Image. 2012; 9: 163-171
        • Hu L.T.
        • Bentler P.M.
        Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives.
        Struct Equ Modeling. 1999; 6: 1-55
        • Chen F.F.
        Sensitivity of goodness of fit indexes to lack of measurement invariance.
        Struct Equ Modeling. 2007; 14: 464-504
        • Cheung G.W.
        • Rensvold R.B.
        Evaluating goodness-of-fit indexes for testing measurement invariance.
        Struct Equ Modeling. 2002; 9: 233-255
        • Cohen J.
        Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences.
        Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Hilsdale, NJ1988
        • Muthen L.K.
        • Muthen B.O.
        Mplus User's Guide, 5th ed.
        Muthén & Muthén, Los Angeles, CA1998-2008
      1. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria2016
      2. Psych: procedures for personality and psychological research version 1.6.12. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL2017
      3. Mplus Automation. R Foundation for the Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria2016
      4. IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows version 23.0. IBM-SPSS Inc, Armonk, NY2015
        • Khan Z.
        • Zadeh Z.F.
        Mindful eating and its relationship with mental well-being.
        Procedia Soc Behav Sci. 2014; 159: 69-73
        • Meier B.P.
        • Noll S.W.
        • Molokwu O.J.
        The sweet life: The effect of mindful chocolate consumption on mood.
        Appetite. 2017; 108: 21-27
        • Warren J.M.
        • Smith N.
        • Ashwell M.
        A structured literature review on the role of mindfulness, mindful eating and intuitive eating in changing eating behaviours: Effectiveness and associated potential mechanisms.
        Nutr Res Rev. 2017; 30: 272-283
        • Carbonneau E.
        • Carbonneau N.
        • Lamarche B.
        • et al.
        Validation of a French-Canadian adaptation of the Intuitive Eating Scale-2 for the adult population.
        Appetite. 2016; 105: 37-45
        • Long S.
        • Meyer C.
        • Leung N.
        • Wallis D.J.
        Effects of distraction and focused attention on actual and perceived food intake in females with non-clinical eating psychopathology.
        Appetite. 2011; 56: 350-356
        • Sala M.
        • Levinson C.A.
        A longitudinal study on the association between facets of mindfulness and disinhibited eating.
        Mindfulness. 2016; : 1-10
        • Lavender J.M.
        • Gratz K.L.
        • Tull M.T.
        Exploring the relationship between facets of mindfulness and eating pathology in women.
        Cogn Behav Ther. 2011; 40: 174-182
        • Hollitt S.
        • Kemps E.
        • Tiggemann M.
        • Smeets E.
        • Mills J.S.
        Components of attentional bias for food cues among restrained eaters.
        Appetite. 2010; 54: 309-313
        • Morley J.E.
        • Thomas D.R.
        Anorexia and aging: Pathophysiology.
        Nutrition. 1999; 15: 499-503
        • Podsakoff P.M.
        • MacKenzie S.B.
        • Podsakoff N.P.
        Sources of method bias in social science research and recommendations on how to control it.
        Annu Rev Psychol. 2012; 63: 539-569


      L. H. H. Winkens is a PhD candidate, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


      I. A. Brouwer is professor of nutrition for healthy living with special emphasis on fatty acids, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


      M. Visser is professor of healthy aging, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


      T. van Strien is endowed professor psychology of eating styles, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and associate professor, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.


      J. R. Barrada is senior lecturer of research methods in psychology, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas, Universidad de Zaragoza, Teruel, Spain.


      B. W. J. H. Penninx is professor of psychiatric epidemiology, Department of Psychiatry, VU University Medical Center/GGZ, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.