University Of Chicago Logo Adolescence is a crucial stage of mental as well as physical growth, but also a phase in which kids tend to fall prey to eating disorders of various kinds. Unfortunately, there is no precise method to calculate the weight of those going through such stages. A recent study from the University of Chicago says that the BMI method is the most suitable for calculating the weight of those patients who need to deal with eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia nervosa.

The study compared two generally accepted techniques of weight measurement along with BMI – the McClaren and the Moore methods. The subjects of this study were adolescents in the University of Chicago seeking treatment for eating disorders. The method in question calculates the weight by comparing the patient’s current BMI to the 50th percentile expected BMI of one with the same height, gender and age. This expected BMI is measured according to the charts issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“There are no clear guidelines in the adolescent field,” commented study author Daniel Le Grange, PhD, professor of psychiatry and Director of the Eating Disorders Program at the University of Chicago. “We set out to do something that is relatively straightforward that hasn’t been done before, and that is look at some of the most frequently used methods of calculating weight in the pediatric and adolescent eating disorder populations, and see whether we can come up with a gold standard for clinical as well as for research purposes.”

The analysis shows that the BMI method proved to be the most useful of the three systems for children and adolescent subjects of all heights and weights. With this study, the team hopes to establish more awareness about eating disorders and the efficiency of these weight calculation systems among pediatricians who handle such patients.

The study was published in the January issue of the journal, Pediatrics.