Dietary energy density and diet variety as risk factors for relapse in anorexia nervosa: A replication.

Schebendach J, Mayer LE, Devlin MJ, Attia E, Walsh BT

Dietary energy density and diet variety as risk factors for relapse in anorexia nervosa: A replication.

Int J Eat Disord 2011 Mar 29.

OBJECTIVE: To replicate our previous findings of an association between energy density and diet variety in recently weight-restored patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and clinical outcome in the year following treatment.
METHOD: Nineteen hospitalized, weight-restored women with AN completed a food record, from which a diet energy density score (DEDS) and a diet variety score (DVS) were calculated. After hospital discharge, patients were contacted regularly; at the end of one year, clinical outcome was determined using modified Morgan-Russell criteria. As in our previous study, outcome was dichotomized into “full, good, or fair” and “poor” groups.
RESULTS: Data from 16 subjects were available. The DEDS was significantly lower (p < .05) in the poor outcome group (0.7 ± 1) compared with the “full, good, or fair” outcome group (0.9 ± 1). Although the DVS was also lower in the poor outcome group (13.9 ± 2) compared with the “full, good or fair” outcome group (15.7 ± 1.8), this difference was not statistically significant.

DISCUSSION: In recently weight-restored patients with AN, a lower DEDS, but not DVS, is associated with poor clinical outcome after inpatient treatment. This finding may be important in the assessment of risk for relapse in patients with AN.

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