The aim of this study is to evaluate two questionnaires, an updated youth version of the questionnaire on eating and weight patterns (Questionnaire on Eating and Weight Patterns‐5 Children/Adolescent [QEWP‐C‐5]) and the Loss‐of‐Control (LOC) Eating Disorder Questionnaire (LOC‐ED‐Q), against the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) interview to assess the presence of LOC‐eating among youth.
Two‐hundred and eighteen youths (12.8 ± 2.7 years) completed the QEWP‐C‐5, LOC‐ED‐Q, and EDE, depressive and anxiety questionnaires, and adiposity assessment. Sensitivity, specificity, positive‐predictive value, negative‐predictive value, and diagnostic accuracy were calculated; Cochran’s Q and McNemar’s tests were used to compare measures. Receiver operating characteristic area under the curve (AUC) analyses were performed. Mood and adiposity based on LOC‐eating presence and absence based on each measure were examined.
The QEWP‐C‐5 and LOC‐ED‐Q demonstrated poor sensitivity (33%; 30%) and high specificity (95%; 96%) compared with the EDE. The AUCs suggested neither the QEWP‐C‐5 (0.64) nor the LOC‐ED‐Q (0.62) demonstrated acceptable diagnostic accuracy. Comparing distributions of LOC‐eating presence between assessments, the QEWP‐C‐5 and EDE did not differ significantly (p = .10), while the LOC‐ED‐Q and EDE had significantly different distributions (p = .03). LOC‐eating presence was associated with higher depressive and anxiety symptoms across all measures (ps < .02). Greater adiposity (ps < .02) was associated with LOC‐eating presence on the EDE and LOC‐ED‐Q, and higher BMI z‐score (p = .02) on the LOC‐ED‐Q.
Neither the QEWP‐C‐5 nor the LOC‐ED‐Q was sensitive for identifying LOC‐eating presence as determined by the EDE, although both were associated with greater mood symptoms. Research is needed to improve self‐report questionnaires to better screen for LOC‐eating presence among pediatric populations.