The development of a single-item Food Choice Questionnaire

M.C. Onwezen*, M.J. Reinders, M.C.D. Verain, H.M. Snoek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


Based on the multi-item Food Choice Questionnaire (FCQ) originally developed by Steptoe and colleagues (1995), the current study developed a single-item FCQ that provides an acceptable balance between practical needs and psychometric concerns. Studies 1 (N = 1851) and 2 (2a (N = 3290), 2b (N = 4723), 2c (N = 270)) showed that the single-item FCQ scale has good convergent and discriminant validity. Generally, the results showed the highest correlations with the related multi-item dimensions (>0.40). Study 2 refined the scale. Only the items for convenience (Study 2a), sensory appeal (Study 2b) and mood (Study 2c) needed to be revised (as Study 1 showed a correlation between the multi-item and the single-item below the threshold of 0.60). The results also showed comparable predictive validity. Both methods revealed similar association patterns between food motives and consumption behaviours (Fisher's z tests revealed agreements of 86.2% for Study 1, 92.9% for Study 2a and 100% for Studies 2b and 2c). Study 3 (N = 6062) showed an example of the added value of a context-specific application for the single-item FCQ. Different motives were shown to be relevant across contexts, and the context-specific motives had additional explained variance beyond the general multi-item FCQ. Studies 2b and 3 also showed the performance of the single-item FCQ in an international context. In sum, the results indicate that the single-item FCQ can be used as a flexible and short substitute for the multi-item FCQ. The study also discusses the conditions that should be considered when using the single-item scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-45
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Benefits
  • Construct
  • Food choice motives
  • Motivation
  • Reliability
  • Scale development
  • Single item measure
  • Validity


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