The Eating Attitudes Test: an index of the symptoms of anorexia nervosa

Psychol Med. 1979 May;9(2):273-9. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700030762.


Data on the development of a 40-item measure of the symptoms in anorexia nervosa are reported. The scale (EAT) is presented in a 6-point, forced choice, self-report format which is easily administered and scored. The EAT was validated using 2 groups of female anorexia nervosa patients (N = 32 and 33) and female control subjects (N = 34 and 59). Total EAT score was significantly correlated with criterion group membership (r = 0.87, P less than 0.001), suggesting a high level of concurrent validity. There was very little overlap in the frequency distributions of the 2 groups and only 7% of the normal controls scored as high as the lowest anorexic patient. Female obese and male subjects also scored significantly lower on the EAT than anorexics. Recovered anorexic patients scored in the normal range on the test, suggesting that the EAT is sensitive to clinical remission.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology
  • Attitude*
  • Body Weight
  • Eating*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Psychological Tests*