Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (Research)

A large scale genetics initiative – Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative or EDGI for short – has recently launched with the aim of collecting 10,000 saliva samples from those with, or with a history of, any of the Eating Disorders.  These saliva samples will be analysed for studies which are seeking to better understand the risk factors related to developing an Eating Disorder (ED).

The project, which has been set up with the National Institute for Health research, King’s College London and ‘Beat’ hopes to be the largest of its type and make a real contribution to the future of understanding and treating EDs.

If you have ever had an ED (diagnosed, or not), are age 16 years or older and live in England then you are eligible to take part.

The EDGI Team have created this explainer video to tell you a little more:




You might be wondering why researchers would be interested in mapping gene data (the information they take from the saliva sample) for EDs – especially since I talk about EDs being coping mechanisms.

Well, research has already identified that there are genetic links to the development of EDs – essentially that certain hereditary or biological factors can be observed amongst those who develop the illness(es).  This tells us that there are genetics risk factors which make a person more likely to develop an ED during their life.  Further research in this area could in theory help us to diagnose EDs earlier and aid in creating and targeting treatments.  It is also important in continuing to emphasise that people with EDs do not choose to struggle with these illnesses and to battle the stigma and blame that has been placed upon those affected.

I will certainly continue to follow the project with interest and have contributed my own sample (check out my photograph over on Twitter @Kel_MHB) .

You can find out more, and request a saliva sample giving pack by visiting:

If you decide to get involved after reading this blog post, I’d really love you to share that with me in the comments!


  • Georgina E Wheeler
    Posted at 19:36h, 11 May Reply

    Did this go ahead? Was it thwarted by Covid 19?

    • Kel_MHB
      Posted at 12:11h, 10 June Reply

      Def still going ahead!

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