Weight gain and nutritional efficacy in anorexia nervosa.Am J Clin Nutr 1984; 39(2):236-42AJ
To evaluate the usefulness of interval weight change in assessing nutritional support efficacy, we studied four anorexia nervosa patients (52% ideal body weight) requiring long-term total parenteral nutrition (TPN) for 63 +/- 18 days. Fluid and electrolyte deficits were corrected before the initiation of nutritional support. Resting energy expenditure was measured before the initiation of TPN and weekly thereafter, using indirect calorimetry. Daily caloric expenditure was estimated at 1.1 X resting energy expenditure, based on previous studies of continuous heart rate monitoring in this patient population. Daily excess calories were calculated as caloric intake minus caloric expenditure. Each patient was weighed daily and linear regression analysis (excess calories versus weight change) was performed for individual patients and the group over intervals of varying length. There was no individual or group correlation between excess calories and weight gain on a daily or weekly interval basis. Cumulative weight changes over the long-term course of TPN correlated significantly with cumulative excess calories for each patient and the whole group (r = +0.82, p less than 0.01). The excess calories required to gain a kilogram body weight ranged from 5569 to 15619 kcal/kg with a mean of 9768. Cumulative long-term weight changes during nutritional repletion in anorexia nervosa are meaningful indicators of caloric balance, but short interval weight changes (daily, weekly) are not. The caloric cost of weight gain is variable in this population.