Development and validation of a green eating survey

Kathryn E Weller, University of Rhode Island


The industrialization of the global food system is associated with negative environmental impacts and increased consumption of energy-dense, processed foods leading to obesity and several chronic diseases. Changes in Americans' diets could offer greater environmental protection and improve diet quality. Behavior change interventions could influence "greener" eating behaviors [Green Eating; GE]; however, before interventions can be developed validated measures are needed to assess these behaviors. A convenience sample (n-954) of students (age 18–24) attending a northeastern university completed a 106-item online-survey measuring demographic and behavioral variables associated with GE. The majority of the sample (66%) was in Precontemplation or Contemplation of SOC for GE. The sample was randomly split for exploratory factor analyses and the second half of the sample was used in confirmatory analyses. The confirmatory sample was used for validation, resulting in internally consistent measures for the Decisional Balance (DB) and Self-Efficacy (SE) scales for GE. Results indicated significant differences (p<.05) by stage for DB, SE, fruit and vegetable Intake, red meat intake, fast food intake and usual meal type. The DB scale resulted in two un-correlated factors, Pros (5-items, &agr;=0.84) and Cons (5-items, &agr;=0.72). The SE scale resulted in two highly correlated models, SE at school (5-items, &agr;=0.87) and SE at home (3-items, &agr;=0.86). All measures differed by stage (p<.05), following predicted patterns. The GE behavior score (sum of 11 items) followed a significant (p<.05) linear increase across the SOC with a moderate effect-size. These results indicate the need for future GE interventions to improve pro-environmental diet behaviors among this population. Future research targeting GE should consider the developed scales as valid and reliable instruments to assess SOC for GE.^

Subject Area

Environmental Health|Health Sciences, Nutrition

Recommended Citation

Kathryn E Weller, "Development and validation of a green eating survey" (2012). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI1508336.