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Nutrients 2014, 6(9), 3895-3912; doi:10.3390/nu6093895

Anorexia Nervosa and Body Fat Distribution: A Systematic Review

Department of Eating and Weight Disorders, Villa Garda Hospital, Via Montebaldo, 89, 37016 Garda (Vr), Italy
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Received: 7 July 2014 / Revised: 18 August 2014 / Accepted: 4 September 2014 / Published: 23 September 2014
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Abstract

The aim of this paper was to conduct a systematic review of body fat distribution before and after partial and complete weight restoration in individuals with anorexia nervosa. Literature searches, study selection, method development and quality appraisal were performed independently by two authors, and data was synthesized using a narrative approach. Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria and were consequently analyzed. The review had five main findings. First, during anorexia nervosa adolescent females lose more central body fat, while adult females more peripheral fat. Second, partial weight restoration leads to greater fat mass deposition in the trunk region than other body regions in adolescent females. Third, after short-term weight restoration, whether partial or complete, adults show a central adiposity phenotype with respect to healthy age-matched controls. Fourth, central fat distribution is associated with increased insulin resistance, but does not adversely affect eating disorder psychopathology or cause psychological distress in female adults. Fifth, the abnormal central fat distribution seems to normalize after long-term maintenance of complete weight restoration, indicating that preferential central distribution of body fat is a transitory phenomenon. However, a discrepancy in the findings has been noted, especially between adolescents and adults; besides age and gender, these appear to be related to differences in the methodology and time of body composition assessments. The PROSPERO Registry—Anorexia Nervosa and Body Fat Distribution: A Systematic Review (CRD42014008738). View Full-Text
Keywords: anorexia nervosa; eating disorders; body composition; body fat percentage; body fat redistribution; adipose tissue distribution anorexia nervosa; eating disorders; body composition; body fat percentage; body fat redistribution; adipose tissue distribution
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

El Ghoch, M.; Calugi, S.; Lamburghini, S.; Dalle Grave, R. Anorexia Nervosa and Body Fat Distribution: A Systematic Review. Nutrients 2014, 6, 3895-3912.

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