Food4Me study: Validity and reliability of Food Choice Questionnaire in 9 European countries
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KeywordsFood choice questionnaire; FCQ; Survey; Reliability; Validity; Food4Me
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This analysis has been conducted to explore the validity and reliability of the Food Choice Questionnaire (FCQ) across 9 European countries. Variation in the factor structure and the perceived importance of food choice motives have been compared cross-nationally. Volunteers (N = 9381) were recruited from an existing panel of a social research agency to take part in the Food4Me survey in Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, the UK and Norway. The survey was administered on-line. Configural, metric and scalar invariance fell within acceptable limits and were consistent across the 9 countries. All reliability parameters were above acceptable levels. Factor analysis confirmed that all items loaded onto the same 9 factors established by Steptoe and Pollard (1995). There was highly significant agreement in the relative importance of food choice factors between countries. Price was ranked as most important food choice factor in five countries (Spain, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and the Netherlands),sensory appeal was ranked first for three countries (Norway, Germany and the UK) while natural content was ranked as the most important factor in Poland. Familiarity and ethical concern were consistently ranked as least important in all countries. These data suggest that the FCQ is a suitable tool for exploring food choice motives across different European populations. Differences in relative importance of factors within countries may need to be taken into account in dietary health intervention and food product development.