Low BMI in Children May Raise Risk of Eating Disorders Later (Representative Image) & nbsp | & nbspPhoto Credit: & nbspThinkstock
New York: Whether your child is underweight or undernourished? If the answer is yes, he or she may be at risk of developing anorexia nervosa in adolescence, warns a new study. Anorexia nervosa is a eating disorder that causes people to be obsessed with their weight. Findings by researchers from the University of North Carolina in the US have shown that a constant low body mass index (BMI) in children, starting from two years for boys and four for girls, may be a risk factor for anorexia neuralgia in adolescence.
Furthermore, consistent high BMI in childhood may be a risk factor for later development of bulimia nervosa characterized by overeating and purification. According to Zeynep Yilmaz, an assistant, although eating disorders are psychiatric, the study highlights the need to address risk metabolic factors along with psychological, socio-cultural and environmental components.
"The differences in the body weight of adolescents who later develop eating disorders begin to appear at a very early age – too early to be caused by social pressure being thin or dieting," Yilmaz said.
The reason may be that the major metabolic factors that move from genetics can predispose these individuals to disturbing weight regulation, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatric and Adolescent Psychiatry. It is necessary to develop early detection tools that can be used as part of routine checks by all pediatricians.
In fact, the earlier the problem is identified, the better it can be managed, especially if support is given to the whole family, not just to the individual, the researchers suggested. For the study, the researchers analyzed 1,502 individuals.