What is it?
The Eating Attitudes Test, or EAT-26, is the most widely used self-report measure of symptoms characteristic of eating disorders. The original test was first published almost 40 years ago and has since been used in hundreds of studies. It has had a huge impact in the field of eating disorders.
What Does it Do?
The EAT-26 is not designed to make a diagnosis of an eating disorder or take the place of a professional diagnosis or consultation.
Rather, it is a useful screening tool to assess “eating disorder risk” in youth, adults, and special risk groups. You should use the test as the first step in a two-stage screening process. Scoring “positively” on one or more criteria yields a recommendation to visit a qualified professional to determine if a diagnosis is appropriate.
Completing the EAT-26 yields a “referral index” based on:
- The total score based on the answers to questions
- Answers to the behavioral questions related to eating symptoms and weight loss
- The individual’s body mass index (BMI) calculated from their height and weight.
Regardless of the score, if you feel that you are suffering from debilitating feelings, you should seek an evaluation from a trained mental health professional.
How Do You Use it?
The EAT-26 can be used in both clinical and non-clinical, group, and individual settings. EAT-26 is designed to be administered by mental health professionals, counselors, coaches, and others wanting to see if someone should be referred to an eating disorder specialist. It is suited for school settings, athletic programs, fitness centers, infertility clinics, pediatric practices, general practice settings, and outpatient psychiatric departments.
You can find the EAT-26 on an iPhone application called Psych On Demand.
Information provided by Eat-26.
Adrien Paczosa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas and the surrounding counties.
She is the owner and founder of I Live Well Nutrition her Dietitian practice which started in 2007 and serves clients in the Austin, Texas area in two locations. Fearless Practitioners, the division of her business that offers training to dietitians and wellness professionals.