Nutritional management of eating disorders

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 1996 Dec;19(4):701-13. doi: 10.1016/s0193-953x(05)70376-2.


Abnormal nutritional status and dietary patterns are central features of the eating disorders. Normalization of these features are key components of treatment and recovery because they are powerful perpetuating factors. Restrictive diets, fat avoidance, and abnormal cognitive and perceptual patterns are typically present, in addition to altered nutritional parameters because of hormonal and metabolic factors. The primary goal of nutrition intervention in the patient with anorexia nervosa is to promote weight gain through increased energy intake, expansion of the diet, and knowledgeable and empathetic dietary counseling. A regular pattern of nutritionally balanced, planned meals and snacks, and the avoidance of restrictive dieting, are essential elements of treatment for the patient with bulimia nervosa. As a member of the multidisciplinary treatment team, the dietitian or nutrition professional with knowledge of nutritional science, counseling skills, and a nonjudgmental attitude can provide expertise in this area.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis*
  • Bulimia / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status*