A study reveals that higher calorie diets produce twice the rate of weight gain compared to the lower calorie diets currently recommended to adolescents hospitalized with anorexia nervosa.
Andrea Garber, PhD, RD, associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital said that these findings are crucial to develop evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of young people suffering from malnutrition related to anorexia nervosa.
In the 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.
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.
The study findings has been published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.