Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type





Hospitality and Dietetic Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Kelly Webber


Available research has shown a relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and health behaviors. However, the link between EI and eating behaviors has not been well explained. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the correlations among EI, eating behaviors, as measured by the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ), and body mass index (BMI) in college students. One hundred and eighty four students (118 (64%) female, 66 (36%) male, average BMI = 23.8kg/m2) were recruited to complete an online survey. The survey consisted of basic demographic questions, academic information with grade point average (GPA), ACT and SAT scores, a 19-item Self-Rated EI Scale, and 18-item Consumer EI Scale (CEIS) and the 33-item DEBQ. BMI was computed using self-report data. Results showed that the overall SREIS and the understanding emotions subscale were positively correlated with BMI. Both the SREIS and CEIS managing emotions subscales were correlated with eating behavior. GPA was correlated with BMI and both EI measures. Gender differences were found for both EI measures. In conclusion, the results indicate that certain aspects of EI may be related to eating behavior. To resolve the current obesity epidemic, emotional intelligence should be addressed in developing effective interventions.

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Nutrition Commons