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Nutrition

Are You a Healthy Eater, or Are You at Risk of an Eating Disorder? Self-Quiz Helps You Find the Answer


A new, 12-question quiz developed by The Renfrew Center Foundation can help you determine whether you have a healthy relationship with food, or whether you're flirting with an eating disorder.

The screening test was developed by doctors, psychologists and nutritionists with special expertise in treating eating disorders, and is designed to be self-administered.

"In treating patients, we find that most women don't realize they have an unhealthy relationship with food until it has already negatively affected their lives," said Gayle Brooks, Ph.D., clinical director of The Renfrew Center. "It's our hope that this diagnostic tool will raise a red flag with some at-risk women and encourage them to seek professional help."

The screening test consists of "yes" or "no" questions that evaluate attitudes and behaviors concerning food and weight. Once the test is scored, the guide places respondents in one of three categories: 1) may have or be vulnerable to an eating disorder — professional assistance is recommended; 2) at-risk behaviors and attitudes; or 3) healthy attitudes.

A high score can indicate serious and potentially dangerous issues with food and eating. These issues may range from a food obsession to anorexia or bulimia — eating disorders which could interfere with how you function and your physical health. If you score in this category, you should seek a professional assessment.

A mid-range score means you may be responding to cultural influences regarding acceptable appearance and how much and what to eat. Such attitudes could negatively impact your self-acceptance and overall happiness. A low score translates into a healthy relationship with food.

Some sample questions from the quiz:

Can you use some moderate restraint in your food selection to get "healthy food," but not be so restrictive that you miss out on pleasurable foods?

Do you trust your body, that you could eat whatever you want as long as you listen to your body (ate when you were hungry and quit when you were satisfied), and not get fat?

Do thoughts about food, weight and dieting take up some of your time and attention, but leave you time and energy for other important aspects of your life, such as relationships, work and self-development?

The free, self-screening quiz and information about treatment options are available by calling 1-800-RENFREW or visiting The Renfrew Center's Web site at www.renfrew.org.


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