UCSF Study Could Change How Eating Disorders Are Treated

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Calling it a giant step forward, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco urged the medical community to reconsider how they treat patients hospitalized with anorexia nervosa, following the study of 56 anorexic patients who were treated with a higher than normal caloric diet during the recovery process.

Until now, there has generally been a cautious approach to “re-feeding” people who suffer from eating disorders, usually limiting initial caloric intake to about 1,200 daily.

“It was called the start low and go slow approach,” explained study author Dr. Andrea Garber. “And this evidence now is really kind of turning everything on its head because we’re showing that you can start high and go faster and you can do that safely.”

“We found that with a higher calorie diet, these young people were getting out of the hospital six days sooner and they were gaining weight almost twice as fast,” she explained.

“The next step now as a field is to really get the word out there, look, we’re building an evidence base and it’s time to at least reevaluate the recommendations.”

Garber’s findings will be published in the November issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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