Are you at risk? Take a self-test

The following questionnaire can help you decide if you have an eating disorder, or if you are at risk of developing one. The easiest way to take the test is to print it out and then check the items that describe you. Then read the explanatory paragraph at the end.

The test and your visit to this Website are anonymous.

  • Even though people tell me I’m thin, I feel fat.
  • I get anxious if I can’t exercise.
  • [Female] My menstrual periods are irregular or absent.
    [Male] My sex drive is not as strong as it used to be.
  • I worry about what I will eat.
  • If I gain weight, I get anxious and depressed.
  • I would rather eat by myself than with family or friends.
  • Other people talk about the way I eat.
  • I get anxious when people urge me to eat.
  • I don’t talk much about my fear of being fat because no one understands how I feel.
  • I enjoy cooking for others, but I usually don’t eat what I’ve cooked.
  • I have a secret stash of food.
  • When I eat, I’m afraid I won’t be able to stop.
  • I lie about what I eat.
  • I don’t like to be bothered or interrupted when I’m eating.
  • If I were thinner, I would like myself better.
  • I like to read recipes, cookbooks, calorie charts, and books about dieting and exercise.
  • I have missed work or school because of my weight or eating habits.
  • I tend to be depressed and irritable.
  • I feel guilty when I eat.
  • I avoid some people because they bug me about the way I eat.
  • When I eat, I feel bloated and fat.
  • My eating habits and fear of food interfere with friendships or romantic relationships.
  • I binge eat.
  • I do strange things with my food (cut it into tiny pieces, eat it in special ways, eat it on special dishes with special utensils, make patterns on my plate with it, secretly throw it away, give it to the dog, hide it, spit it out before I swallow, etc.)
  • I get anxious when people watch me eat.
  • I am hardly ever satisfied with myself.
  • I vomit or take laxatives to control my weight.
  • I want to be thinner than my friends.
  • I have said or thought, “I would rather die than be fat.”
  • I have stolen food, laxatives, or diet pills from stores or from other people.
  • I have fasted to lose weight.
  • In romantic moments, I cannot let myself go because I am worried about my fat and flab.
  • I have noticed one or more of the following: cold hands and feet, dry skin, thinning hair, fragile nails, swollen glands in my neck, dental cavities, dizziness, weakness, fainting, rapid or irregular heartbeat.

As strange as it seems in our thin-obsessed society, none of the above behaviors is normal or healthy. The more items you have checked, the more serious your problem may be. Please check with your physician or a qualified mental health counselor to prevent medical and psychological problems. You could show the person this questionnaire and the items you have circled as a way to begin the conversation.

People do recover from eating disorders, but almost all of those who do, need professional help to get back on track. We know this is hard, and we appreciate your courage as you take the first step by calling today to make an appointment with your physician or counselor.