Validity of the Eating Attitudes Test: A study of Mexican eating disorders patients

  • G. Alvarez-RayónEmail author
  • J. M. Mancilla-Díaz
  • R. Vázquez-Arévalo
  • C. Unikel-Santoncini
  • A. Caballero-Romo
  • D. Mercado-Corona
Original Research Paper


Objective: To evaluate the psychometric properties of the Mexican version of the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-40) in clinical and control populations in Mexico City. Method: 276 female patients with eating disorders [52 with anorexia nervosa (AN), 102 with bulimia nervosa (BN) and 122 with eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS)] and a comparison group of 280 normal control female subjects completed the EAT. Results: The EAT had an adequate level of internal consistency in the clinical sample (Cronbach’s alpha=0.90). Total score was significantly correlated with criterion group membership (r=0.77, p≤0.0001), suggesting a high level of concurrent validity. There was a small overlap in the frequency distribution of the 2 groups (eating disorders and control) and only 6% of the normal controls scored as high as lowest anorexic and bulimic patients. The factorial analysis yielded five factors accounting for 46.6% of total variance: 1) Dietary restraint, 2) Bulimia, 3) Drive of thinness, 4) Food preoccupation and 5) Perceived social pressure. Conclusions: This study provides evidence that the Mexican version of the EAT is an economical, reliable and potentially useful instrument for research in this field.

Key words

Eating disorders psychometric properties EAT-40 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Raich R. M., Mora M., Sánchez-Carracedo D., Torras J., Viladrich M. C., Zapater L., Mancilla J. M., Vázquez R., Alvarez-Rayón G.: A cross-cultural study on eating attitudes and behaviors in two spanish-speaking countries: Spain and Mexico. Eur. Eat. Disord. Rev., 9, 53–63, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    O’Keefe P., Lovell D.: Eating Disorders Inventory scores in Russia and Britain: A preliminary comparison. Eur. Eat. Disord. Rev., 7, 129–135, 1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Nakamura K., Yamamoto M., Yamazaky O., Kawashima Y., Muto K., Someya T., Sakurai K., Nozoe S.: Prevalence of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa in a geographically defined area in Japan. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 28, 173–180, 2000.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Nobakht M., Dezhkam M.: An epidemiological study of eating disorders in Iran. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 28, 265–271, 2000.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Machado P.P., Goncalves S., Martins C., Soares I.C.: The Portuguese version of Eating Disorders Inventory: Evaluation of its psychometric properties. Eur. Eat. Disord. Rev., 9, 43–52, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Westenhoefer J.: Prevalence of eating disorders and weight control practices in Germany in 1990 and 1997. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 29, 477–484, 2001.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wassenaar D., Le Grange D., Winship J., Lachenicht L.: The prevalence of eating disorder pathology in a cross-ethnic population of female students in South Africa. Eur. Eat. Disord. Rev., 8, 225–236, 2000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Garner D.M., Garfinkel P.E.: The Eating Attitudes Test: An index of the symptoms of anorexia nervosa. Psychol. Med., 9, 273–279, 1979.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Button E.J., Whitehouse A.: Subclinical anorexia nervosa. Psychosom. Med., 11, 509–516, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Garner D.M.: Factores culturales y educación en el tratamiento de los trastornos de la alimentación. In: Buendía J. (Comp.), Psicopatología en Niños y Adolescentes. Madrid, Pirámide, 1996, pp. 461–476.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.), Washington, Am. Psychiatr. Assoc., 1994.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Garner D.M., Olmsted M.P., Bohr Y., Garfinkel P.E.: The Eating Attitudes Test: Psychometric features and clinical correlates. Psychol. Med., 12, 871–878, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Castro J., Toro J., Salamero M., Guimerá E.: The Eating Attitudes Test: Validation of the Spanish version. Psychol. Assess., 2, 175–190, 1991.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Alvarez R.G.: Validación en México de dos instrumentos para detectar trastornos alimentarios: EAT y BULIT. Tesis de Maestría, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2000.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Engström I., Norring C.: Estimation of the population “at risk” for eating disorders in a non-clinical Swedish sample. Eating Weight Disord., 7, 45–52, 2002Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Keel P., Klump K., Leon G., Fulkerson J.: Disordered eating in adolescent males from a school-based sample. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 23, 125–132, 1998.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wichstrom L.: Social, psychological correlates of eating problems: A study of the general adolescent population in Norway. Psychol. Med., 25, 567–580, 1995.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Editrice Kurtis 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Alvarez-Rayón
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. M. Mancilla-Díaz
    • 1
  • R. Vázquez-Arévalo
    • 1
  • C. Unikel-Santoncini
    • 2
  • A. Caballero-Romo
    • 2
  • D. Mercado-Corona
    • 3
  1. 1.Nutrition Research Department, FES IztacalaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxico
  2. 2.National Institute of PsychiatryUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxico
  3. 3.Psychology SchoolUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxico

Personalised recommendations