There are a few ways to screen for an eating disorder. One short and easy questionnaire is called the SCOFF. SCOFF is an acronym that is used to help people & professionals remember the specific questions. It is touted as being simple, memorable, easy to apply and score. It is designed to raise suspicion of the presence of disordered eating rather than to diagnose. It is mostly used by health professionals but since it is easy to understand, it can be used by anyone.
Do you make yourself Sick because you feel uncomfortably full?
Do you worry you have lost Control over how much you eat?
Have you recently lost more than One stone in a 3 month period? (or about 6kg or 15lbs)
Do you believe yourself to be Fat when others say you are too thin?
Would you say that Food dominates your life?
To score the questionnaire, give one point for every “yes”. A score of 2 or more indicates that there are symptoms present similar to those in anorexia nervosa or bulimia. In other words, if you (or who ever took the test) scored 2 or higher, you may need help in re-establishing a healthy relationship with food and your body.
There are other more in-depth questionnaires for helping to determine whether you have symptoms commonly associated with an eating disorder. One very popular one is called the Eating Attitudes Test-26 (or the EAT-26). You can take the test anonymously here.
Thinking that your disordered eating is not “bad enough” to seek help or the idea that you aren’t sick enough to merit the help of a professional is one of the main reasons people suffer from eating disorders. Getting help sooner rather than later helps to speed recovery and lift the burden off your shoulders.