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Validation of the Children's Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ) in the population of Saudi preschoolers

The Children's Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ) is a multi-dimensional questionnaire filled out by parents to determine the characteristics of eating behaviour of their children and, consequently, children’s propensity to become obese. It assesses eating habits that contribute to childhood obesity. It has been successfully validated mainly in countries of Western-type eating habits, but not in Saudi Arabia or anywhere else in the Middle East, where obesity has become a significant health problem. In the current study, the CEBQ factor structure and reliability were assessed in a sample of Saudi preschoolers aged 2-6 years. In addition, the associations between children's BMI z-scores, eating behaviours and parental weight were examined. Parents of 200 Saudi preschool children (100 boys and 100 girls) completed the Arabic version of the CEBQ. BMI of children and parents, and parental educational levels were collected. The BMI of every child was calculated and converted to BMI z-score. Factor analyses on all the CEBQ items were performed and the differences between genders and age groups were examined. Correlations between children's BMI z-scores and eating behaviours were analysed using linear regression, controlling for age, gender, parental educational levels and parental weight. The factor analysis revealed an eight-factor solution similar to the theoretical factor structure, with good internal reliability and acceptable correlations between subscales. Boys scored slightly higher than girls on food responsiveness, whereas no difference between age groups was found. Significant and positive associations between BMI z-scores and “food approach” subscales, food responsiveness, enjoyment of food and emotional overeating were found, while “food avoidant” subscales, satiety responsiveness and slowness in eating, had significant inverse relationships with BMI z-scores. Maternal BMI had strong positive associations with BMI z-scores and food responsiveness, whereas paternal BMI had no effect on BMI z-scores or eating behaviours of children. The current data suggest that the CEBQ is a valid psychometric tool that can be reliably used to assess eating behaviour characteristics in Saudi preschool children. The results derived from this study can be useful in understanding the aetiology of overweight and obesity in pre-school children in regard to their eating behaviours.
Type of thesis
Alhamad, A. H. (2013). Validation of the Children’s Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ) in the population of Saudi preschoolers (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8691
University of Waikato
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