eating disorder inventory

Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) Questionnaire

Purpose: This is a self-report questionnaire designed to measure common psychological and behavioral characteristics of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

Population: Age range of 12 years and above.

Scores: It consists of 8 subscale scores.

Time: It takes at least 15-25 minutes.

Authors: David M. Garner, Marion P. Olmsted, and Janet Polivy.

Publisher: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.

Description: The eating disorder inventory is a self-report questionnaire based on the Likert-type scales, consisting of 64 questions. It is divided into eight subscales. It was created in 1984 by David M. Garner and others. Two subsequent revisions were done by Garner: the eating disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2) and the eating disorder Inventory-3 (EDI-3).

It measures several behavioral and psychological traits commonly found in both eating disorders such as, bulimia and anorexia nervosa. The cognitive and emotional factors of eating habits are assessed within 8 scales. The first 3 scales measure attitudes or behaviors regarding eating and body shape, while the other 5 scales collect data related to personal characteristics in case of anorexia nervosa. These are as follows:

  1. Drive for thinness
  2. Bulimia
  3. Dissatisfaction with body image
  4. Dissatisfaction feelings
  5. Perfectionism
  6. Interpersonal distrust
  7. Exposure to interoceptive
  8. Maturity fears

The first subscale focuses on excessive body neutrality, reflecting persistent anxiety. The second scale points out the tendency to cause overeating, followed by obvious vomiting. The third scale reflects disappointment with certain parts of the body. The fourth subscale measures general dissatisfaction and feelings of worthlessness, as well as the effectiveness of lack of personality. The fifth shows excessive expectations for perfection. The sixth scale emphasizes alienation. The seventh is about feelings of emotional uncertainty, and the eighth subscale is about the question of respondents wanting to lower their adulthood expectations and want to be children again.

Scoring: The answer to the Linkert scale is: always, usually, sometime, rarely, never. The most pathological answer “always” or “never” provides 3 points, and then evaluates 2 points and the other 3 answers as 0. The total score of the subscale is based on the answers to the questions. When the first three grades of the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) test are high, it is very likely that the patient will have an eating disorder.

The points showing pathological symptoms indicate that the scale is used. The following points are usually used: 14 points for thinness, 14 points for bulimia, and 21 points for disappointment with the body. If the score on any of the first 3 scales is higher than those listed above, it indicates an eating disorder.

Reliability: The average total correlation of items in the eight sub-scales of the Eating Disorders Scale was .63 (SD = .13). The reliability information is based on 271 college women who have obtained complete information on all subscales. The reliability coefficient (standardized Chronbach alpha) for the anorexia nervosa group ranged from 0.83 (perceived awareness) to 0.93 (ineffectiveness). The reliability coefficient of female college students ranges from 0.72 (fear of maturity) to 0.92 (physical dissatisfaction).

Validity: By comparing Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) patient files with the judgments of clinicians who are familiar with the patient’s psychological performance, the effectiveness research related to the standards is carried out. A subgroup of 49 patients with anorexia nervosa who completed Eating Disorder Inventory was assigned two raters: psychologists and psychiatrists who were familiar with the patients, who were their primary therapists or consultants. The evaluator was provided with a description of the content of the incomplete scale and the total percentile ranking of the patient in the entire anorexic sample. At the level of p <.001, all interstitial correlations are significant, ranging from .43 (fear of maturity) to .68 (ineffectiveness).

Norms: Two groups of respondents participated in the Eating Disorder Inventory verification. The standard group (n = 129) consisted of three subsamples of women, most of whom were anorexic women. The height and age of these women were on average 20% lower than expected weight. In this sample, 56 were classified as “restricted persons” and 73 were diagnosed as “bulimia”. The comparison group (n = 770) consisted of three samples of female college students who participated in the introductory and advanced psychology courses respectively. These volunteers received Eating Disorder Inventory management in their classes.

Suggested Uses: It is recommended that eating disorder inventory be used in clinical or research settings to describe the subtypes of anorexia nervosa.


  1. Garner, David M.; Olmstead, Marion; Polivy, Janet (Spring 1983). “Development and validation of a multidimensional eating disorder inventory for anorexia nervosa and bulimia”. International Journal of Eating Disorders. 2 (2): 15–34.
  2. Garner, D. M. (1991). EDI-2. Eating disorder inventory-2. Professional manual.
  3. International Journal of Eating Disorders Volume 4 Issue 4, Pages 511 – 523 Published Online: 13 Feb 2006 Sense of ineffectiveness in women with eating disorders.

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