Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ)


Research has suggested that individual differences in several aspects of eating style contribute to the development of weight problems in children and adults. The Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ) was designed to assess children’s eating scale styles. It is a parent-report measure comprised of 35 items, each rated on a five-point likert scale that ranges from never to always. It is made up of eight scales: Food responsiveness, Emotional over-eating, Enjoyment of food, Desire to drink, Satiety responsiveness, Slowness in eating, Emotional under-eating, and Food fussiness. The instrument is ideal for use in research investigating the early precursors of eating disorders or obesity.


The psychometric properties of the instrument have been evaluated by Wardle and colleagues (2001) and Carnell and Wardle (2007).

Author of Tool:

Wardle, Guthrie, Sanderson, & Rapoport

Key references:

Wardle, J., Guthrie, C. A., Sanderson, S., & Rapoport, L. (2001). Development of the children’s eating behaviour questionnaireJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry42, 963-970.

Carnell, S., & Wardle, J. (2007). Measuring behavioural susceptibility to obesity: Validation of the child eating behaviour questionnaireAppetite48, 104-113.

Primary use / Purpose:

The CEBQ is designed to measure eating styles in young children.


Child Eating Behaviour Question (with scoring)

Other Information:

Other keywords: Eating; Eating Styles; Weight; Children.

Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ)

Please read the following statements and tick the boxes most appropriate to your child’s eating behaviour.

Never Rarely Some-times


Often Always
My child loves food
My child eats more when worried
My child has a big appetite
My child finishes his/her meal quickly
My child is interested in food
My child is always asking for a drink
My child refuses new foods at first
My child eats slowly
My child eats less when angry
My child enjoys tasting new foods
My child eats less when s/he is tired
My child is always asking for food
My child eats more when annoyed
If allowed to, my child would eat too much
My child eats more when anxious
My child enjoys a wide variety of foods
My child leaves food on his/her plate at the end of a meal
My child takes more than 30 minutes to finish a meal
Never Rarely Some-times


Often Always
Given the choice, my child would eat most of the time
My child looks forward to mealtimes
My child gets full before his/her meal is finished
My child enjoys eating
My child eats more when she is happy
My child is difficult to please with meals
My child eats less when upset
My child gets full up easily
My child eats more when s/he has nothing else to do
Even if my child is full up s/he finds room to eat his/her favourite food
If given the chance, my child would drink continuously throughout the day
My child cannot eat a meal if s/he has had a snack just before
If given the chance, my child would always be having a drink
My child is interested in tasting food s/he hasn’t tasted before
My child decides that s/he doesn’t like a food, even without tasting it
If given the chance, my child would always have food in his/her mouth
My child eats more and more slowly during the course of a meal





(Never=1, Rarely=2, Sometimes=3, Often=4, Always=5)

Food responsiveness            =                 item mean FR

Emotional over-eating           =                 item mean EOE

Enjoyment of food                 =                 item mean EF

Desire to drink                        =                 item mean DD

Satiety responsiveness                   =                 item mean SR

Slowness in eating                =                 item mean SE

Emotional under-eating         =                 item mean EUE

Food fussiness                      =                 item mean FF

*Reversed items


Wardle, J, Guthrie CA, Sanderson, S and Rapoport, L. Development of the Children’s Eating Behaviour Questionnaire.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 42, 2001, 963-970.     

NB: There is an error in the text of this paper concerning the scoring of the CEBQ which is given as 0 – 4. In fact responses were scored 1- 5 and the means and standard deviations given in the tables reflect this.

This content is licensed under a CC-BY license. The CC-BY licenses grant rights of use the scales in your studies (the measurement instrument and its documentation), but do not replace copyright. This remains with the copyright holder, and you have to cite us as the source.

Mohammed Looti, PSYCHOLOGICAL SCALES (2023) Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ). Retrieved from DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.31575.96163