Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Higher calorie diets increase weight gain, shorten hospital stays for teens with anorexia

Date:
September 20, 2013
Source:
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
Summary:
Higher calorie diets produce twice the rate of weight gain compared to the lower calorie diets that currently are recommended for adolescents hospitalized with anorexia nervosa.

Higher calorie diets produce twice the rate of weight gain compared to the lower calorie diets that currently are recommended for adolescents hospitalized with anorexia nervosa, according to a study by researchers at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

The findings will be published in the November issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health along with an accompanying editorial and two supporting studies, challenging the current conservative approach to feeding adolescents with anorexia nervosa during hospitalization for malnutrition.

"These findings are crucial to develop evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of young people suffering from malnutrition related to anorexia nervosa," said Andrea Garber, PhD, RD, associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

"This is the first study to follow patients in the hospital on a more aggressive feeding protocol and it's clear that we're seeing better results as compared to the traditional approach," said Garber, who led the research with colleagues in the UCSF Adolescent Eating Disorders Program.

The American Psychiatric Association, American Dietetic Association and others recommend starting with about 1,200 calories per day and advancing slowly by 200 calories every other day. This "start low and go slow" approach is intended to avoid refeeding syndrome -- a potentially fatal condition resulting from rapid electrolyte shifts, a well-known risk when starting nutrition therapy in a starving patient.

In 2011, Garber and her colleagues published a study that was the first to show that adolescents on these lower-calorie diets had poor outcomes, including initial weight loss followed by poor weight gain and long hospital stays.

"That study showed that the lower-calorie diets were contributing to the so-called 'underfeeding syndrome' and are just too conservative for most of the adolescents that we hospitalize," said Garber. "Now we've compared a higher-calorie approach and found that it dramatically increases the rate of weight gain and shortens hospital stay."

In the new study, researchers evaluated 56 adolescent patients who were placed on higher-calorie diets starting at 1800 calories per day and advanced by about 120 calories per day, versus those starting on 1100 calories a day and advanced at a slower rate of 100 calories per day.

Study participants were adolescents with anorexia nervosa who required hospitalization for malnutrition indicated by low body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and body mass index. The primarily white female adolescent patients were fed three meals and three snacks each day and their vital signs were monitored closely, with their heart rates measured continuously and electrolytes checked twice a day.

When comparing the two groups, the rate of weight gain was almost double on higher- versus lower-calorie diets, and patients receiving more calories were hospitalized for an average of seven fewer days, without an increased risk of refeeding syndrome.

"This higher calorie approach is a major shift in treatment that looks really promising -- not only from a clinical perspective of better weight gain, but from the perspective of these young people who want to get better quickly and get back to their 'real' lives," Garber said.

Since 2008, the UCSF Adolescent Eating Disorders Program has been starting patients on a higher calorie approach in response to the emerging research from Garber and her colleagues.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrea K. Garber, Kasuen Mauldin, Nobuaki Michihata, Sara M. Buckelew, Mary-Ann Shafer, Anna-Barbara Moscicki. Higher Calorie Diets Increase Rate of Weight Gain and Shorten Hospital Stay in Hospitalized Adolescents With Anorexia Nervosa. Journal of Adolescent Health, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.07.014

Cite This Page:

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "Higher calorie diets increase weight gain, shorten hospital stays for teens with anorexia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130920094227.htm>.
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). (2013, September 20). Higher calorie diets increase weight gain, shorten hospital stays for teens with anorexia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130920094227.htm
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "Higher calorie diets increase weight gain, shorten hospital stays for teens with anorexia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130920094227.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins