The Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) is probably the most widely used standardized measure of symptoms and concerns characteristic of eating disorders. The EAT-26 alone does not however yield a specific diagnosis of an eating disorder. The EAT has been a particularly useful screening tool to assess "eating disorder risk" in schools and colleges.
Screening for eating disorders is based on the assumption that early identification can lead to earlier treatment, thereby reducing serious physical and psychological complications. Many studies have used the EAT-26 as an economical first step in a two-stage screening process. According to this methodology, individuals who score 20 or more on the test should be interviewed by a qualified professional to determine if they meet the diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder