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.

Related Articles


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 April 24, 2015 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 April 24, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 24, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

85 Killed in Niger by Meningitis Since Start of Year

85 Killed in Niger by Meningitis Since Start of Year

AFP (Apr. 24, 2015) A meningitis outbreak in Niger has killed 85 people since the start of the year prompting authorities to close schools in the capital Niamey until Monday. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anti-Malaria Jab Hope

Anti-Malaria Jab Hope

Reuters - News Video Online (Apr. 24, 2015) The world&apos;s first anti-malaria vaccine could get the go-ahead for use in Africa from October if approved by international regulators. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) Developers of 3D food printing hope the culinary technology will revolutionize the way we cook and eat. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Genes Could Influence How Much Mosquitoes Love You

Your Genes Could Influence How Much Mosquitoes Love You

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2015) New research suggests genetics play a big part in how appetizing you smell to mosquitoes. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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