[Anorexia nervosa and adolescents]

Tijdschr Psychiatr. 2015;57(12):923-7.
[Article in Dutch]


Background: Anorexia nervosa (AN), which is the most serious of the eating disorders, starts earlier in life and often continues into adulthood.

Aim: To discuss the typical features of AN in adolescents.

Method: We present an overview based on the literature about AN in adolescents and on analysis performed by experts.

Results: Youngsters with AN run considerable physical risks because their bodies are less well developed and are more easily injured. These injuries can be a lifelong handicap if the patient's body weight does not rapidly return to normal. However, if the body weight recovers satisfactory, this can point to the possibility of a full psychological recovery. The best route to recovery is to start dining again with the family, to go back to school and to participate in social activities. So far, no other types of treatment have proved to be entirely successful.

Conclusion: Further research is needed into matters such as an ideal weight for the patient and the best ways of increasing his or her food-intake. We need to find out how best to deal with a patient's disturbed body image and how to treat any comorbid disease that often accompanies AN.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / therapy*
  • Energy Intake / physiology
  • Family Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Remission Induction
  • Social Behavior
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Gain / physiology*