HOME > About Nagasaki University > Research information > The Center for Health and Community Medicine Has Made a New Eating Behavior Questionnaire for University Students

The Center for Health and Community Medicine Has Made a New Eating Behavior Questionnaire for University Students

12 November, 2012

The Center for Health and Community Medicine’s research group of Associate Professor Hironori Yamasaki, Associate Professor Jun Tayama, Public Health Nurse Mayumi Maeda, Public Health Nurse Keiko Otsubo, Public Health Nurse Kanako Asao, Director Susumu Shirabe, and Norio Abiru of the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Nagasaki University Hospital have newly developed an eating behavior questionnaire suitable for university students.
Against a background of sharply increasing prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in people age 20 to 40, and believing prevention of obesity in young adults in their 20’s to be an important issue for preventing MetS, a 30-question eating behavior questionnaire (original 30) was created in 1998 for the purpose of evaluating gaps in their perception of the quality of eating behavior and obesity.
Since this was made for all adults including the elderly, responses to the original 30 were obtained from 1588 university students, and 14 questions were selected using item response theory (selected 14).
Although the number of questions was reduced by about half, the ability to identify obesity was inferior to the original 30.
Further, people of normal BMI who became obese a year later numbered 30 of 629 men and 7 of 469 women.
Four questions related to such a transition were extracted from the original 30 using specific item functioning analysis (selected 4: maximum 16 points ? minimum 4 points).
The four questions were: (1) Do you think your constitution is more prone to gaining weight than other people’s? (2) Do you gain weight even drinking water? (3) Have you eaten a lot from an early age? (4) Do you always gain weight during vacations and holidays?
When the relationship between points and becoming obese was analyzed by ROC curve, the cutoff value was 10 points for men and 11 points for women
However, the positive predictive value was 12% for men and 2% for women, which was not a sufficient positive predictive value.
If BMI and abdominal circumference are included as predictive factors, however, the positive predictive value for obesity after 1 year reached 40% for men with BMI of 23.3 kg/m2 or more, abdominal circumference of 76.9 cm or more, and 10 points or more in the selected 4.
The positive predictive value for women using the same factors was only 5%, and was not useful.

Use of the eating behavior questionnaire for university students is useful for improving the efficiency of preventive intervention for obesity in men.
However, predictive factors for women need to be further investigated.