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Keywords:

  • Obesogenic environment;
  • assessment of obesogenic environment;
  • paediatric obesity;
  • assessment of eating and activity habits

Summary

What is already known about this subject

  • The FEAHQ was originally developed in Israel and designed for use in family-based weight-management interventions that emphasized changes in the environment and in parents’ knowledge, behaviors, and modeling.
  • A key distinction of the FEAHQ from other tools is the ability to evaluate the overall obesogenic environment and, at the same time, each of the family members’ eating and activity patterns, reflecting the importance of parenting behaviors and modeling in child weight status.
  • The FEAHQ is a useful clinical tool for identifying target behaviors for treatment and monitoring treatment progress.

What this study adds

  • FEAHQ-R includes adjustments made to improve the tool use.
  • New data supporting the psychometric properties of the Revised FEAHQ.

Background

The Family Eating and Activity Habits Questionnaire (FEAHQ) is a 32-item self-report instrument designed to assess the eating and activity habits of family members as well as obesogenic factors in the overall home environment (stimulus and behaviour patterns) related to weight. Originally, this questionnaire, which was developed in Israel, was designed for use in family-based weight-management interventions that emphasized changes in the environment, and in parents' knowledge, behaviours and modelling. It was developed for use with children aged 6–11 years and designed for co-completion by parents or caretakers and their children. Over the years, it has been administered in research and clinical settings in Israel, England, Australia and other countries. Its 15-year anniversary calls for an update in the literature regarding adjustments made to improve its use in different settings and with different ethnic populations and the psychometric properties of the revised version.

Objective

The goal of this paper is threefold: (i) to describe the history and development of the FEAHQ; (ii) to present new data supporting the psychometric properties of the subscales of the Revised FEAHQ (FEAHQ-R) for ages 6–12 years and (iii) to review the clinical and research literature reporting on FEAHQ subscales.

Methods

The psychometric properties of the revised questionnaire were evaluated in a randomized control trial and in a naturalistic, community-based study to promote healthy lifestyle among families with children 6–12 years of age from different ethnic populations.

Results

The tool demonstrated good test-retest reliability when completed by caretakers and very good internal consistency. The questionnaire scores discriminated between obese and normal-weight children and predicted the weight classification of 66% of the participants.

Conclusions

The FEAHQ-R is a useful clinical tool for identifying target behaviors for treatment and monitoring treatment progress that centers on overweight prevention and weight management.