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Quiz: Anorexia Nervosa

Might you have Anorexia Nervosa?

Due to an increase in public awareness, Anorexia Nervosa (key symptoms: refusal to maintain a minimally healthy body weight, intense fear of gaining weight, and a significant disturbance in the perception of the shape or size of one’s body) and Bulimia Nervosa (key symptoms: binge eating – eating what the individual considers to be too much food in a way that feels out of control – followed by inappropriate compensatory behaviours such as self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise) are becoming more and more openly acknowledged.

The following questionnaire will tell you whether or not you think or behave in a way that indicates that you have tendencies towards Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa.

Answer the questions below honestly. Respond as you are now, not the way you used to be or the way you would like to be. Write the number of your answer on a sheet of paper. Do not leave any questions blank unless instructed to do so.

I have eating habits that are different from those of my family and friends.

1-often   2-sometimes   3-rarely   4-never

I find myself panicking if I cannot exercise as I had planned because I am afraid that I will gain weight if I don’t.

1-often   2-sometimes   3-rarely   4-never

(Females only) My menstrual period has stopped or become irregular due to no known medical reasons.

1-true   2-false

I have become obsessed with food to the point that I cannot go through the day without worrying about what I will or will not eat.

1-often   2-sometimes   3-rarely   4-never

I have lost more than 15% of what is considered to be a healthy weight for my height (e.g., female, 5’4″ tall loses 20 pounds when a healthy weight for her approximately 122 pounds.)

1-true   2-false

I would panic tomorrow if I got on the scale and found that I had gained two pounds.

1-often   2-sometimes   3-rarely   4-never

I find that I prefer to eat alone or when I am sure that no one will see me, and thus make excuses so that I can eat less and less often with friends and family.

1-almost always   2-sometimes   3-rarely   4-never

I find myself going on uncontrollable eating binges during which I consume large amounts of food to the point that I feel sick and make myself vomit.

1-never   2-less than 1 time per week   3- 1-6 times per week   4- 1 or more times per day

(Note: Answer this question only if your answer to the previous question is “1”; otherwise leave blank.) I find myself compulsively eating more than I want to while feeling out of control and/or unaware of what I am doing.

1-never  2-less than 1 time per week   3- 1-6 times per week   4- 1 or more times per day

I use laxatives or diuretics as a means of weight control.

1-never   2-rarely   3-sometimes   4-on a regular basis

I find myself playing games with food (e.g., cutting it up into tiny pieces, hiding food so people will think I ate it, chewing it up and spitting it out without swallowing it, keeping hidden stashes of food) and/or I have determined that there are “safe” foods that are okay for me to eat and “bad” foods that are not.

1-often   2-sometimes   3-rarely   4-never

People around me have become very interested in what I eat and I find myself getting angry with them for pushing me to eat more.

1-often   2-sometimes   3-rarely   4-never

I have felt more depressed and irritable recently than is typical for me and/or have been spending an increasing amount of time alone.

1-true   2-false

I keep a lot of my fears about food and eating to myself because I am afraid no one would understand.

1-often   2-sometimes   3-rarely   4-never

I enjoy making gourmet and/or high calorie foods for others as long as I don’t have to eat them myself.

1-often   2-sometimes   3-rarely   4-never

The most powerful fear in my life is the fear of gaining weight or becoming fat.

1-often   2-sometimes   3-rarely   4-never

I exercise a lot (more than 4 times per week and/or more than 4 hours per week) as a means of weight control.

1-true   2-false

I find myself totally absorbed when reading books or magazines about dieting, fitness, exercising, or calorie counting to the point that I can spend hours studying them.

1-often   2-sometimes   3-rarely   4-never

I tend to be a perfectionist and am not satisfied with myself unless I do things perfectly.

1-almost always   2-sometimes   3-rarely   4-never

I go through long periods of times without eating (fasting) or eating very little as a means of weight control.

1-often   2-sometimes   3-rarely   4-never

It is important for me to try to be thinner than all of my friends.

1-almost always  2-sometimes   3-rarely   4-never

Scoring

Step 1: Add your responses together and write down your total. This is your score.

Step 2: Compare your score with the numbers below.

38 or less
Strong tendencies towards anorexia nervosa.

39-50
Strong tendencies towards Bulimia Nervosa.

50-60
Weight conscious. May or may not have tendencies towards an eating disorder. Not likely to have Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa. May have tendencies towards compulsive overeating, obesity, or binge-eating disorder.

Over 60
Extremely unlikely to have anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa; however, scoring over 60 does not rule out tendencies towards compulsive eating, binge-eating disorder, or obesity.

If you scored below 50, it would be wise for you to:

  • see more information about anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa; and
  • contact a counselor, pastor, teacher, or physician in order to find out if you have an eating disorder and, if you do, how to get some help.

If you scored between 50 and 60, it would be a good idea for you to talk to a counselor, pastor, teacher, or physician in order to find out if you have an eating disorder, and if you do, how to get some help.

If you scored over 60 but have questions and concerns about the way you eat and/or your weight, it would be a good idea for you to talk to a counselor, pastor, teacher, or physician in order to determine if you have an eating disorder and, if you do, how to get some help.

Family Plus/Life Solutions has been serving the Saint John area since 1929. The Agency is a private, not-for-profit organization helping men, women, children and families manage the challenges of today’s living conditions.