International Diabetes Center: Screen for Early Eating Disorder Signs (SEEDS)

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St. Louis Park, MN 55416-2699

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Background and purpose
Researchers at Park Nicollet’s International Diabetes Center and Melrose Center developed the Screen for Early Eating Disorder Signs (SEEDS) to address the increased prevalence of eating disorders in persons with type 1 diabetes. The purpose of SEEDS is to identify those at risk of an eating disorder so early interventions can be initiated to prevent or diminish an eating disorder.

SEEDS is a brief (20-item; 2-5 minutes to complete), self-administered screen designed for use in clinical practice or research to identify or confirm suspicions of eating disorder risk. SEEDS includes items across three themes – Body Image, Feelings and Quality of Life; it does not include weight-control behavior items that could influence eating disorder development.

Development and validation
The survey was developed using focus groups of people with type 1 diabetes and an eating disorder. Their openness and candid discussion was helpful in identifying signs that were not observed at the beginning of their eating disorder or were present and not related to the risk of developing an eating disorder. This information was used to develop the SEEDS survey. The survey was validated using a total of 268 people with type 1 diabetes, ages 12 years and older. It has very strong psychometric properties.

Scoring guidelines are provided in the full paper along with broad suggestions for intervention depending on the level of eating disorder risk.

To use SEEDS
SEEDS is available free for clinical and research use (download a PDF from resources section below; please do not retype the survey). Although it has been developed for persons with type 1 diabetes it may be useful for risk identification in other groups as SEEDS does not include any items about diabetes. If you do use SEEDS, please share with us how you plan to use it; send a note to