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2020
Article
König, L. M., Sproesser, G., Schupp, H. T., & Renner, B.

Preference for Intuition and Deliberation in Eating Decision-making: Scale validation and associations with eating behavior and health

König, L. M., Sproesser, G., Schupp, H. T., & Renner, B. (2020). Preference for Intuition and Deliberation in Eating Decision-making: Scale validation and associations with eating behavior and health. British Journal of Health Psychology. doi: 10.1111/bjhp.12460

Objectives

Two distinct lines of research separately regard either deliberately regulated eating or intuitive eating as most beneficial for health. The present research aims to integrate these seemingly contradictory findings by investigating the relationships between Preference for Intuition and Deliberation in Eating Decision‐making (E‐PID) and subjective and objective health‐related parameters using a newly developed scale.

Design

Study 1: online survey; Study 2: cross‐sectional community cohort sample.

Methods

Study 1 (N = 699) assessed E‐PID, intuitive, restrained, and external eating, motivation to eat healthily, domain‐unspecific Preference for Intuition and Deliberation, and general self‐control. Study 2 (N = 1,212) assessed E‐PID, positive eating, intention to eat healthily, eating behaviour, and objective health risk factors (BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting serum glucose, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides).

Results

Study 1 confirmed a two‐factor structure and provided evidence for construct validity: A higher preference for intuition was positively related to intuitive eating, while a higher preference for deliberation was associated with increased dietary restraint. In Study 2, preference for deliberation was positively related to the intention to eat healthy, healthy eating behaviour, and health parameters. Preference for intuition was generally unrelated to health parameters, although a higher preference for intuition was related to a somewhat unhealthier eating pattern.

Conclusions

Preference for intuition and deliberation when making food choices are two distinct decision‐making styles: The former focuses on internal cues, while the latter focuses on cognitive regulation of food intake. Despite these differences, neither decision‐making style was shown to be detrimental.