A new study found that a persistent low body mass index (BMI) in children, starting as young as age 2 for boys, and 4 for girls, may be a risk factor for the development of anorexia in adolescence.
The study also found that a persistent high BMI in childhood may be a risk factor for later development of bulimia, binge eating disorder, and purging.
By looking at growth records of thousands of children over time, researchers can see early warning profiles that could signal children at risk.
Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., Professor of Eating Disorders at UNC states, “Clinically, this means that pediatricians should be alert for children who fall off and stay off the growth curve throughout childhood.” The same holds true for children who exceed and remain above the growth curve – increasing their risk for bulimia and binge eating disorder.
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