Cognitive determinants of energy balance-related behaviours: Measurement issues

Kremers, Stef, Visscher, Tommy, Seidell, Jacob, van Mechelen, Willem and Brug, Johannes (2005) Cognitive determinants of energy balance-related behaviours: Measurement issues. Sports Medicine, 35 11: 923-933. doi:10.2165/00007256-200535110-00001

Author Kremers, Stef
Visscher, Tommy
Seidell, Jacob
van Mechelen, Willem
Brug, Johannes
Title Cognitive determinants of energy balance-related behaviours: Measurement issues
Journal name Sports Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0112-1642
Publication date 2005-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.2165/00007256-200535110-00001
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 35
Issue 11
Start page 923
End page 933
Total pages 11
Place of publication Auckland, New Zealand
Publisher Adis Internationa
Language eng
Subject 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Abstract The burden of disease as a result of overweight and obesity calls for in-depth examination of the main causes of behavioural actions responsible for weight gain. Since weight gain is the result of a positive energy balance, these behavioural actions are referred to as 'energy balance-related behaviours' (EBRBs). In the broadest sense, there are only two EBRBs: food intake and physical activity. However, both diet and physical activity are complex behavioural categories that involve a variety of actions. This article discusses the potential problems and opportunities related to the assessment of cognitive determinants of energy intake and energy expenditure behaviours. We argue for the necessity of studying determinants of EBRBs within an energy balance approach, i.e. focusing on energy input as well as output, instead of only studying dietary change or physical activity behaviour. As a result, however, theoretically sound questionnaires assessing determinants of EBRBs are likely to annoy respondents. It is especially the measurement of the behaviours and the use of belief-based constructs that cause questionnaires to be long, which may lead to low response rates and invalid data. In this article, we propose a careful and systematic consideration of the inclusion or exclusion of measures of cognitive determinants. First, if studies show that an EBRB is strongly influenced by environmental factors and is not or only to a minor extent under intentional control, measurement of cognitions is of little use. Second, only when we have proof that attitudes, norms and perceived behavioural control predict intentions, should we aim to assess the underlying beliefs. Third, since assessment of beliefs results in similar or better prediction than using belief-valuation combinations, we should not 'annoy' respondents with valuation items. Finally, we argue that the traditional paper-and-pencil survey is still the most reliable and practical data collection method. However, pilot studies applying computerised adaptive methods to determinants of EBRBs are encouraged.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 53 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 03 Apr 2009, 23:22:43 EST by Maryanne Watson on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences