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BMI Percentile Method Recommended for Calculating Weight in Children with Eating Disorders

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In a recent study published online in the journal Pediatrics, researchers from three different educational institutions compared three everyday clinical methods of determining the expected body weight of adolescents suffering from eating disorders.

Researchers from the University of Chicago, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the University of Rochester Medical Center arrived at the conclusion that using the body mass index (BMI) percentile method was preferred for clinical and research purposes.

They noted that although an exact method of determining expected body weight for adolescents based on height, gender, and age is crucial in order to accurately diagnose and manage serious eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, there were no clear guidelines regarding the preferred method of obtaining this information.

The researchers examined data from adolescents receiving treatment for eating disorders at the University of Chicago. They calculated expected body weights using 3 common clinical measurement methods; BMI percentile method, the McClaren method, and the Moore method.

During analysis, it was determined that the BMI percentile method was the most useful means by which to accurately obtain expected body weights among the young people receiving treatment. In addition to this, the researchers noted that the BMI percentile method was also the most accurate when used to calculate the weight of adolescents who were either very short or very tall.

The researchers hope that physicians and pediatricians will use the BMI percentile method as a means to diagnose eating disorders in young people that may otherwise have been missed. It is believed that a standardized system of measurement will result in better and more accurate diagnosis and treatment. They also stressed the importance of using the term “expected body weight” instead of “ideal body weight” in order to avoid unrealistic body image expectations in adolescents suffering from eating disorders.

Source: Medical News Today