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The Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) is a self-report questionnaire used to assess the presence of eating disorders, (a) Anorexia Nervosa both restricting and binge-eating/purging type; (b) Bulimia Nervosa; and (c) Eating disorder not otherwise specified including Binge Eating Disorder (BED). The original questionnaire consisted of 64 questions, divided into eight subscales.It was created in 1984 by David M. Garner et al.[1] There have been two subsequent revisions by Garner; Eating disorder inventory-two (EDI-2) and Eating disorder inventory-three (EDI-3), published by Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc. located in Lutz, Florida.

Diagnostic use

The Eating disorder inventory is a diagnostic tool designed for use in a clinical setting to assess the presence of an eating disorder. Due to high comorbity associated with eating disorders[2] it is generally used in conjunction with other psychological tests such as the Beck Depression Inventory. Depression has been shown to yield higher scores on the EDI-3.[3]


The Eating disorder inventory (EDI) comprises 64 questions, divided into eight subscales rated on a 0-6 point scoring system. The 8 subscale scores on the EDI are:
1.Drive for thinness (DT): an excessive concern with dieting, preoccupation with weight, and fear of weight gain.
2.Bulimia: episodes of binge eating and purging
3.Body dissatisfaction: not being satisfied with one's physical appearance
4.Ineffectiveness: assesses feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, worthlessness and having no control over their lives. [4]
5.Perfectionism:not being satisfied with anything less than perfect
6.Interpersonal distrust: reluctance to form close relationships
7.Interoceptive awareness (IA):"measures the ability of an individual to discriminate between sensations and feelings, and between the sensations of hunger and satiety",[5]
8.Maturity fears:the fear of facing the demands of adult life


The first revision to the Eating disorder inventory was in 1991. The 1991 version, Eating disorder inventory-two (EDI-2) is used for both males and females over age 12. The EDI-2 retains the original format of the EDI with the inclusion of 27 new items divided into three additional subscales:
1.Asceticism:reflects the avoidance of sexual relationships
2.Impulse Regulation:shows the ability to regulate impulsive behavior, especially the binge behaviour
3.Social Insecurity: estimates social fears and insecurity


The latest revision to the Eating disorder inventory; Eating disorder inventory-three (EDI-3) was released in 2004. It contains the original items of the first EDI as well as EDI-2, it has been enhanced to reflect more modern theories related to the diagnosis of eating disorders. It was designed for use with females ages 13–53 years. It contains 91 items divided into twelve subscales rated on a 0-4 point scoring system. 3 items are specific to eating disorders and 9 are general psychological scales that while not specific are relevant to eating disorders. It yields six composites: Eating Disorder Risk, Ineffectiveness, Interpersonal Problems, Affective Problems, Overcontrol, General Psychological Maladjustment. It is also a self-report questionnaire administered in twenty minutes.


The Eating disorder symptom checklist (EDI-3SC) is a separate self report form used to measure the frequency of symptoms, (i.e. binge eating; use of laxatives, diet pills; exercise patterns). The information provided by the EDI-3SC aids in determining whether the patient meets the diagnostic criteria as set forth in the Diagnostic and Statical Manual of Mental Disorders IV-TR (DSM-IV) for an eating disorder.


The Eating disorder referral form (EDI-3RF) is an abbreviated form of the EDI-3 for use in non-clinical settings for use in the allied health professions. It contains 25 questions from the EDI-3 from the three scales that are specific to eating disorder risk. It also includes questions specific to the behavioral patterns of someone with or at risk of developing an eating disorder. The EDI-3RF also utilizes referral indexes based on Body Mass Index (BMI) in identifying at risk patients.


  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. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
  2. Psychosomatic Medicine 68:454.462
  3. Psychiatry Volume 18, Issue 3, May,2003
  4. International Journal of Eating DisordersVolume 4 Issue 4, Pages 511 - 523 Published Online: 13 Feb 2006 Copyright © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company Sense of ineffectiveness in women with eating disorders
  5. Psychopathology Vol37,No.4, 2004.

See also

SCOFF questionnaire
Body Attitudes Test
Eating Attitudes Test
Body Attitudes Questionnaire
Eating Disorder Examination Interview
Diagnostic classification and rating scales used in psychiatry

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