The Eating Identity Type Inventory (EITI). Development and associations with diet

Abstract People with healthy eating identities report healthier diets and demonstrate greater receptivity to nutrition interventions, but other types of eating identity are likely important. We developed the Eating Identity Type Inventory (EITI) to assess affinity with four eating identity types; healthy, meat, picky, and emotional. This study assessed factorial validity, using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and established reliability and convergent validity of the EITI. In a telephone survey, 968 primary household food shoppers completed the EITI and a dietary questionnaire; 101 repeated the EITI approximately 1 month later. CFA revealed that an 11-item model provided acceptable fit (χ2 = 206; df = 38), CFI = .938, NNFI = .925, RMSEA = .070; SRMR = .059). The EITI demonstrated acceptable internal consistencies with Cronbach alpha’s ranging from .61 to .82 and good test–retest reliability for healthy, emotional, and picky types (Pearson’s correlations ranging from .78 to .84). Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) used to assess relationships between eating identity type and diet analyses demonstrated significant hypothesized relationships between healthy eating identity and healthier dietary intake and meat and picky eating identities and less healthy dietary intake. The EITI could facilitate behavioral and cognitive research to yield important insights for ways to more effectively design messages, interventions, and policies to promote healthy dietary behaviors.