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Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI)

Decades of research have established that there is a genetic element to the development of eating disorders. In fact, twin studies have shown that eating disorders are 1.5 times more heritable than depression, with just over half of the risk a result of complex genetic factors. However, EDGI now wants to uncover exactly which genes are responsible. This is where you come in!

What is EDGI?

The Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI) is the UK’s largest ever genetic research project into eating disorders. The aim is to collect the psychological, medical, and genetic information of 10,000 people with experience of any eating disorder. This will help us to better understand the role our genes and environment play on the development and treatment of these illnesses. EDGI is part of an international collaboration, with many countries coming together as part of the same initiative.

How can I get involved?

We can only reach our goal with your support – we need thousands of participants to contribute to this cause. Every single person counts. You can sign up or get more information on their website.

There are four steps to joining EDGI*:

  1. Register through the website and read the information sheet
  2. Provide consent
  3. Complete a ~30 minute questionnaire to see if you are eligible
  4. Once received, complete your saliva DNA kit and return via post

*Please note you do not need to have received a diagnosis or treatment in order to take part, and you do not need to tell your healthcare provider (all your information is confidential and packaging is discreet and free)

What are the wider implications of EDGI?

A deeper understanding of eating disorders means we will be better equipped to help those who are experiencing these illnesses. EDGI is also an important information resource that enables the efficient recontacting of volunteers for further research. For too long, eating disorders have been stigmatised by society, underrepresented in mental health research, and overlooked by research funding bodies. Together with your help, we want to change this.