Happy 3rd Birthday to The Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI) UK!

The Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative in the UK (EDGI UK) was launched 3 years ago, recruiting members of the public who have experienced any eating disorder. We spoke to the team to find out what's happened since the launch in 2020, achievements to date, who they've collaborated with and how you can take part. 

What is EDGI UK?

The Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI), funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) BioResource, is the UK’s largest ever research project on eating disorders. Our 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 both our genes and environment play in the development of these illnesses and build a recontactable research database.

Principal Investigator Professor Gerome Breen said:

“Gaining a deeper understanding of eating disorders is being enabled by our wonderful participants. This means the field will be better equipped to help those who are experiencing them.

"For too long, eating disorders have been stigmatised by society, underrepresented in mental health research, and overlooked by research and clinical funding bodies. Together with your help, EDGI-UK wants to change this. Help make a difference by signing up EDGI-UK today.”
The EDGI team attending a roundtable discussion at Parliament

What have been the greatest achievements this year for EDGI UK? 

We are now halfway to our goal of 10,000 participants who have completed our baseline questionnaire and returned their saliva kits.

We have recently published a paper in the International Journal of Eating Disorders which outlines our study design and initial results.

Our Principal Investigator Professor Gerome Breen and other members of our team have attended an eating disorder round table at the UK Parliament, to discuss the importance of research in increasing our understanding of eating disorders and in developing more effective treatments.

Gerome Breen at Parliament

Who else have you collaborated with?

Our study is a collaboration with Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity.

As part of our advocacy efforts, we have collaborated with eating disorder campaigner Hope Virgo, Consultant Psychiatrist in Eating Disorders and Vice Chair of the Faculty of Eating Disorders at the Royal College of Psychiatrists Agnes Ayton, and Carer Representative for the Faculty of Eating Disorders at the Royal College of Psychiatrists and member of the Academy of Eating Disorders Suzanne Baker.

Moreover, EDGI UK is part of an international collaboration, EDGI World, with projects in Australia, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Sweden and USA.

Who and how can take part in EDGI UK?

EDGI UK is open to anyone over 16 in England, who is experiencing or has ever experienced any eating disorder. As our questionnaire determines participant eligibility, we do not require participants to have an official diagnosis of an eating disorder to be eligible.

Participants can sign-up on the EDGI website, where they can read our information sheet and give their consent, before completing our online questionnaire which allows us to determine eligibility for the study.

Eligible participants are then sent a saliva kit, which can be completed from the comfort of their own home and posted back to us with the freepost envelope included.

A huge thank you to the EDGI UK team for putting this together! 

You can find out more about EDGI UK on their website or follow them on their FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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