Body Composition of Women with Anorexia Nervosa: A Pilot Study

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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The purpose of this study was to examine the estimated body composition values of women hospitalized for treatment of anorexia nervosa in relation to values reported in the literature for women without known dietary problems. Sixteen volunteers between the ages of 16 and 37 years from hospitals in California and Texas participated in the study. Data collected included height, weight, and selected skinfold and circumference measures. Statistical analyses included independent and paired t tests. Significant differences were found between the percent body fat of anorexic subjects (M = 15.54%) and that of normative women in the Jackson, Pollock, and Ward (1980) study (M = 24.09%). When the actual weight of the anorexic subjects (M = 99.3 lb) was compared with their theoretical minimal weight calculated by the Behnke (1969) formula (M = 106.5 lb), no significant difference was obtained. A comparison of somatogram data for the anorexic women and the reference woman found significant differences at 5 of the 11 sites measured.

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