Disordered Eating Attitude Scale (DEAS)

Background:

Eating attitudes are simply defined as any thought, belief, affect or behaviour towards food. Traditionally, most psychometric instruments assessing attitudes towards eating and the individual’s relationship with food revolve around eating disorders (ED) with a resultant focus on ED symptoms. Beyond these types of measures, the remaining corpus of scales examine specific areas of interest in eating attitudes to the neglect of general feelings, attitudes and behavioural correlates. To bridge this research and empirical chasm, Alvarenga, Scagliusi and Philippi (2010) developed the Disordered Eating Attitudes Scale (DEAS). The scale is suited for use evaluating distorted eating attitudes and discrepancies in beliefs, thoughts, and feelings for specific eating patterns and relationships with food in clinical and non-clinical samples.

Psychometrics:

Psychometric validation of the DEAS (English version) was determined in Alvarenga et al. (2010).

Author of Tool:

Alvarenga, M. S., Scagliusi, F. B., & Philippi, S. T.

Key references:

Alvarenga, M. S., Scagliusi, F. B., & Philippi, S. T. (2010). Development and Validity of the Disordered Eating Attitude Scale. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 110, 379-395.  Alvarenga, M. S., Pereira, R. F., Scagliusi, F. B., Philippi, S. T., Estima, C. P. C., & Croll, J. (2010). Psychometric evaluation of the Disordered Eating Attitude Scale (DEAS) – English version. Appetite, 55, 374-376. Alvarenga, M. S., Francischi, R., Fontes, F., Scagliusi, F. B., & Philippi, S. T. (2010). Adaptación y validación al Espanol del Disordered Eating Attitude Scale (DEAS). Perspectivas en nutricion humana, 12, 11-23.

Primary use / Purpose:

The Disordered Eating Attitude Scale (DEAS) is a 25-item questionnaire that assesses the individual’s eating attitudes. This index consists of questions grouped into seven subscales: Relationship with food, concern with food and weight gain, restrictive and compensatory behaviors, food refusal, meanings of eating, positive feelings about eating, and idea of normal eating. Higher scores are indicative of worse attitudes.

 

Disordered Eating Attitude Scale – DEAS (and score system)

 

Alvarenga et al. Development and validity of the Disordered Eating attitude Scale. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 2010, 2:379-395.

 

  • Higher scores means worse eating attitude; score in each question varies from 1 to 5;
  • For question 1, its necessary to score each alternative to have question 1 score;
  • Minimum score is 37 and maximum is 190;
  • Correspondent score for each alternative is in read

 

PART I

  • Mark with an X how healthy and necessary you consider consumption of each kind of food below:

a)    Sugar

Eating this food often is healthy and necessary      1 point Eating this food occasionally is healthy and necessary                    1 point Not eating this food is healthy and necessary                                                     5 point

French Fries

Eating this food often is healthy and necessary                     1  point Eating this food occasionally is healthy and necessary                                             1 point Not eating this food is healthy and necessary                                                  5 point

Oil

Eating this food often is healthy and necessary                             1 point Eating this food occasionally is healthy and necessary                                           1 point Not eating this food is healthy and necessary                                            5 point

b)    Breads

Eating this food often is healthy and necessary                      1 point Eating this food occasionally is healthy and necessary                                   3 point Not eating this food is healthy and necessary                                            5 point

Rice

Eating this food often is healthy and necessary                      1 point Eating this food occasionally is healthy and necessary                                   3 point Not eating this food is healthy and necessary                                            5 point

Beans

Eating this food often is healthy and necessary                                                      1 point Eating this food occasionally is healthy and necessary                                             3 point

Not eating this food is healthy and necessary          5 point

Pasta

Eating this food often is healthy and necessary                                                      1 point Eating this food occasionally is healthy and necessary                                             3 point

Not eating this food is healthy and necessary          5 point

Red meat

Eating this food often is healthy and necessary                      1 point Eating this food occasionally is healthy and necessary                                   3 point Not eating this food is healthy and necessary                                            5 point

Whole milk

Eating this food often is healthy and necessary       1 point Eating this food occasionally is healthy and necessary                     3 point Not eating this food is healthy and necessary                                            5 point

Cheese

Eating this food often is healthy and necessary                      1 point Eating this food occasionally is healthy and necessary                                   3 point Not eating this food is healthy and necessary                                            5 point

c)  Vegetables

Eating this food often is healthy and necessary                      1 point Eating this food occasionally is healthy and necessary                                   3 point Not eating this food is healthy and necessary                                            5 point

Fruits

Eating this food often is healthy and necessary                      1 point Eating this food occasionally is healthy and necessary                                   3 point Not eating this food is healthy and necessary                                            5 point

White meat

Eating this food often is healthy and necessary                      1 point Eating this food occasionally is healthy and necessary                                   3 point Not eating this food is healthy and necessary                                            5 point

 

  • Do you feel pleasure when you eat? 1 point No.   5 point
  • Does eating ever feel unnatural to you? 5 point No.                       1 point
  • Have you ever spent one or more days without eating or having only liquids because you believed you could lose weight?

Yes. 5 point           No.   1 point

  • Do you count the calories of everything you eat? 5 point No.                       1 point
  • Do you enjoy the feeling of an empty stomach? 5 point No.   1 point
  • Do you “skip” meals to avoid putting on weight? 5 point No.                       1 point
  • Does eating make you feel “dirty”? 5 point No.   1 point
  • Do you have good memories related to food? 1 point No.   5 point
  • Would you like to not need to eat? 5 point No. 1 point
  • Do you believe that it is normal to eat sometimes just because you are sad, upset or bored? 1 point No.
  • When you eat more than usual, what is your behavior afterwards? Restart eating as 1 point

Assume you have lost control and keep eating even more. 3 point

Decide to go on a diet to compensate. 3 point

Use some kind of compensation, such as physical activity, vomiting, laxatives and diuretics. 5 point

 

PART II

All question (13 to 25) score in the same way:

Always = 5 points Usually = 4 points Often = 3 points Sometimes = 2 points Rarely/never = 1 points

  • I feel guilty when I eat something that I thought I should not eat for some Always Usually Often Sometimes                     Rarely/Never
  • I quit eating a kind of food if I find out it has more calories than I Always Usually Often Sometimes                     Rarely/Never
  • I worry all the time about what I am going to eat, how much to eat, how to prepare food and whether I should eat or

Always      Usually      Often      Sometimes      Rarely/Never

 

  • I worry about how much a certain kind of food or meal will make me gain Always Usually Often Sometimes                     Rarely/Never

 

  • I am angry when I feel

Always      Usually      Often      Sometimes      Rarely/Never

 

  • It is hard to choose what to eat, because I always think I should eat less or choose the option with fewer

Always      Usually      Often      Sometimes      Rarely/Never

 

  • When I desire a specific kind of food, I know I won’t stop eating until I have finished with Always Usually Often Sometimes                     Rarely/Never
  • I would like to have my appetite and eating behavior under total Always Usually Often Sometimes                     Rarely/Never
  • I try eating less in front of others in order to overeat when I am Always Usually Often Sometimes Rarely/Never
  • I am afraid to start eating and not be able to

Always      Usually      Often      Sometimes      Rarely/Never

 

  • I dream of a pill that would replace

Always      Usually      Often      Sometimes      Rarely/Never

 

  • I get nervous and/or lose my self-control at parties and buffets, due to a great amount of foods

Always      Usually      Often      Sometimes      Rarely/Never

 

  • My relationship with food messes up my life as a Always Usually Often Sometimes Rarely/Never

SUBSCALES:

  • Subscale 1 (Relationship with food) includes questions 8,10,13, 17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24 and 25;
  • Subscale 2 (Concerns about food and weight gain) includes questions 5,14,15 and 16;
  • Subscale 3 (Restrictive and compensatory practices) includes questions: 4,6,7 and 12;
  • Subscale 4 (Feeling toward eating) includes questions: 2,3 and 9;
  • Subscale 5 (Idea of normal eating) includes questions: 1a,b,c and 11.