The impact of age and BMI on Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) scores in a community sample

Eat Behav. 2012 Apr;13(2):158-61. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2011.12.001. Epub 2012 Jan 6.


Objectives: The primary objectives for this study were to establish normative data for the EDE-Q in a nationally representative sample of women and to investigate the unique and relative effects of age and BMI.

Methods: A community sample of 3000 women aged 16-50 was randomly selected from the Norwegian National Population Register.

Results: Mean global EDE-Q was 1.27 (SD=1.19). EDE-Q scores decreased significantly with age yet increased with BMI. In the regression model, BMI and age accounted for 19% versus 2%, respectively, of the global EDE-Q. Extreme shape and weight concerns appeared to drive the higher global EDE-Q scores for individuals with overweight or obesity, with 30-40% scoring above the recommended clinical cut-off for Shape and Weight Concern.

Conclusions: Higher EDE-Q scores, largely driven by elevated shape and weight concerns, appear normative among individuals with obesity in a nationally representative population. BMI should be routinely considered when establishing criteria for defining recovery and determining clinical significance using the EDE-Q.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Body Mass Index
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards
  • Young Adult