5 key facts about atypical anorexia

Study findings a 'cogent reminder' to monitor weight loss in adolescents at any weight

Many adolescents with anorexia nervosa-related health complications are a healthy weight, Melbourne research shows, prompting calls for improved monitoring of young people who lose weight.

Total weight loss and recent weight loss are greater predictors of physical complications than weight at admission, according to the study of 171 adolescents aged 12-19 hospitalised for the first time.

Of the teens hospitalised, 53 were diagnosed with ‘atypical anorexia’, meaning they displayed significant eating disorder psychopathology but were not underweight, according to the study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Key findings in atypical anorexia-related health complications include:

  1. Total weight loss is the strongest predictor of anorexia nervosa-related health complications.
  2. Adolescents with greater recent weight loss are more likely to be concerned about their weight