Understanding factors that influence food choice may help improve diet quality. Factors that commonly affect adults’ food choices have been described, but measures that identify and assess food choice factors specific to college students are lacking. This study developed and tested the Food Choice Priorities Survey (FCPS) among college students. Thirty-seven undergraduates participated in two focus groups (n = 19; 11 in the male-only group, 8 in the female-only group) and interviews (n = 18) regarding typical influences on food choice. Qualitative data informed the development of survey items with a 5-point Likert-type scale (1 = not important, 5 = extremely important). An expert panel rated FCPS items for clarity, relevance, representativeness, and coverage using a content validity form. To establish test–retest reliability, 109 first-year college students completed the 14-item FCPS at two time points, 0–48 days apart (M = 13.99, SD = 7.44). Using Cohen’s weighted κ for responses within 20 days, 11 items demonstrated moderate agreement and 3 items had substantial agreement. Factor analysis revealed a three-factor structure (9 items). The FCPS is designed for college students and provides a way to determine the factors of greatest importance regarding food choices among this population. From a public health perspective, practical applications include using the FCPS to tailor health communications and behavior change interventions to factors most salient for food choices of college students.
- food choice
- survey development