Behind the scenes with EDGI NZ

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Ever wonder what is happening behind the scenes with a massive study like EDGI? Well the EDGI NZ team is busy making sure that everything is working seamlessly for everyone who is ready to volunteer as someone with lived experience of eating disorders or as a control. A lot of coordination is required to make sure we can enrol at least 3500 individuals with eating disorders as well as control participants who have never had an eating disorder themselves or in their family.

Survey deployment 

Dr Hannah Kennedy and Prof Laura Thornton have spent countless hours making sure that the surveys that you are completing are in working order. There is tons of coding and checking and testing that goes into making sure that the right questions get asked at the right time. In addition to trouble shooting the NZ survey, they are also communicating with our collaborators in the US, Australia, Sweden, the UK and other countries to make sure that our surveys are compatible so that we will be able to easily analyse data that from around the world.


Preparing your “spit kit”

Across the road in the lab, Allison Miller is busy at work preparing spit kits to send out to participants. She will be packaging up the little funnels with the saliva tubes and sending messages out to every participant. Of course we need to make sure that the right person gets the right tube so that we can link the survey information with the saliva sample, but to guard confidentiality of all participants, we do all of that by code number so that the samples will be de-identified. Soon we’ll have a mountain of saliva kits to send out as the number of completed surveys climbs!

Spreading the word


Our recruitment team is led by VIVA! Communications who have flown in from Sydney to help orchestrate our launch. The VIVA! Team is hunkered down in their hub linking us with various radio, TV, and newspaper outlets so that we can get the word out about participating in EDGI. Meanwhile, the researchers, Profs Cynthia Bulik and Martin Kennedy, and Dr. Jenny Jordan as well as volunteers who have lived experience with eating disorders such as Meg Nelis are doing interviews to help explain why participating in EDGI is important and how it will give hope to individuals with eating disorders and their families. Part of our mission is also to spread accurate information about eating disorders and to dispel myths about their causes and consequences.

If you are living in NZ, to participate in EDGI NZ , you can take the survey here.

If you are outside of NZ, email to find out whether your country is participating in EDGI.


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Dave’s story


Amy’s story


Jess’ story


Claireabelle’s story