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Adult Mental Health -
Eating Disorders

Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ)
Tatjana van Strien, 2002

Assess eating behaviour

Age Range:

Individual - 10 minutes

Most weight reduction programmes do not result in permanent weight loss for most individuals. Most people quickly regain their weight or even become heavier, possibly because the treatment does not fit the individual.

There are three main theories of overeating: Psychosomatic theory, Externality theory and Restraint theory, any one of which, or any combination of which might be responsible for an individualís overeating. One person might overeat in response to negative emotions (psychosomatic theory); another in response to external food cues such as sight and smell of food (externality theory); and a third may overeat after a period of slimming, when the cognitive resolve to eat less than desired is abandoned (theory of restrained eating). Each of these various types of eating behaviour requires a specific type of treatment.

The structure of an individuals eating behaviour can be assessed in a valid manner using the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ). The test is easy to administrate, takes about 10 minutes to complete and has been used for adults and children as young as 9 years old.

The test has separate scales on emotional eating (13 items), external eating (10 items), and restrained eating (10 items). For each of the three scales various norm groups are available. If the individualís current body weight and weight history are also taken into account, it becomes possible to decide which particular weight reduction programme can be best recommended. 

Available Products


Complete kit: Includes manual, questionnaire and 25 scoring sheets 
Additional copies of materials:
Questionnaires and scoring sheets, pack of 50