Objective: Applying self-determination theory, the present study examined the different regulatory processes of healthy eating motivations and their determinants in a cross-cultural sample by exploring the factor structure, measurement invariance, and construct validity of the Motivation for Healthy Eating Scale (MHES). Design: 381 Hungarian, 264 Japanese, and 293 Norwegian university students participated in the cross-sectional survey study. The psychometric evaluation was done by applying confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), correlation analysis, and CFA with covariates testing. Main outcome measures: Besides the six factors of MHES (Amotivation, External, Introjected, Integrated, Identified regulation and Intrinsic motivation), validating variables included obesity status, breakfast skipping, wellbeing, and emotional, external and restrained eating styles. Results: The a priori six-factor model of MHES adequately fit the sample data from all three cultures. The questionnaire demonstrated invariance of the factor structure and factor loadings across all of the groups. The different types of regulatory processes showed weak associations with the validating variables in the expected directions, with somewhat varied patterns across cultures. Conclusion: The MHES is a valid tool that measures different types of behavioural regulations of healthy eating. The measure is interpreted similarly across different cultures, which makes further investigations of the factors promoting healthy eating possible.
- eating behaviour
- Motivation for healthy eating scale
- self-determination theory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health