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January 06, 2012

New Research from the Journal of Adolescent Health

by Mark Warren, M.D.

Re-posted from Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED) blog archives. CCED and The Emily Program partnered in 2014.

An interesting article from the Journal of Adolescent Health was recently profiled in the New York Times. This article challenges traditional methodologies for in-patient re-feeding of teenagers with anorexia nervosa. Historically, the protocol for teens hospitalized for anorexia has been to "start low and go slow" with food. However, this often results in much slower weight gain or even lack of weight gain during the first week of hospitalization and may result in a teen being discharged from the hospital at a significantly lower weight than they would have been if they had been re-fed more aggressively. As we know from other literature, not reaching prior growth curves is thought to be the single greatest factor in relapse for anorexia and hospitalization is often utilized to jump start this vital and necessary weight gain.

While there are still many questions to be answered about the best methodology of feeding individuals in the hospital, the article underlines the basic principles of treatment of eating disorders in adolescents, in particular, those found in Family Based Therapy. Specifically, re-feeding and the cessation of eating disorder behaviors is the most important part of the first phase of treatment. Only after these have been accomplished should other issues involving the eating disorder move to the forefront.

To access this important article please click here.

Contributions by Sarah Emerman

About the Author

Mark Warren, M.D.

Mark Warren, M.D.

Mark Warren is the chief medical officer of The Emily Program. He is also one of the original founders of the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders, which recently merged to become The Emily Program – Cleveland. A Cleveland native, he is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Medical School and completed his residency at Harvard Medical School. He served as Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Hospital and Medical Director of University Hospital Health System's Laurelwood Hospital. A past vice-chair for clinical affairs at the Case School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, he continues on the Clinical Faculty of the Medical School, teaching in both the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics. He is currently a faculty member and former chair of the Board of Governors at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. Dr. Warren is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a two-time recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award of the national Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and a winner of the Woodruff Award. He leads the Males and Eating Disorders special interest group for the Academy of Eating Disorders.

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Recovery for life is possible 888-364-5977

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