Emotional Appetite Questionnaire. Construct validity and relationship with BMI

Laurence J. Nolan, Lindsay B. Halperin, Allan Geliebter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


The Emotional Appetite Questionnaire (EMAQ) comprises ratings of tendency to eat in response to both positive and negative, emotions and situations. To assess construct validity, the responses of 232 male and female participants to the EMAQ subscales were correlated with the subscales of the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ), which has been extensively validated. In addition, the EMAQ scores were correlated with BMI. Convergent validity was demonstrated by a significant positive correlation between the negative emotions and situations scores of the EMAQ and the emotional eating subscale score of the DEBQ (DEBQ-E). Moreover, discriminant validity was demonstrated by low correlations of EMAQ positive emotions and situations scores with the DEBQ-E score. For the study sample, the EMAQ negative scores were significantly positively correlated with BMI, and the EMAQ positive scores were significantly inversely correlated with BMI. As BMI increased so did reported negative emotional and situational eating whereas as BMI decreased, reported positive emotional and situational eating increased. Although causality cannot be inferred from correlations, eating more under negative emotions may contribute to being overweight whereas eating less may contribute to being underweight. The EMAQ was shown to have construct validity, and emotional eating was significantly correlated with BMI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-319
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Body mass index
  • Body weight
  • Emotional eating
  • Obesity
  • Scale validity


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