After recovery, women with anorexia nervosa (AN) tend to maintain lower body mass indices (BMI) than women in the general population. Reasons for this are unknown as little is known about diet, food choices, physical activity levels (PAL), and reasons for exercise in women recovered from AN.
Diet, reasons for food choice, PAL, and reasons for exercise were measured in an exploratory study of 15 women recovered from AN and 22 women with no eating disorder history.
In these hypotheses generating analyses, mean BMI in recovered women was numerically lower than control women [21.4 kg/m2 (2.0) and 23.6 kg/m2 (4.4); respectively (p < .06)]. Recovered women were more likely to base food choice on health benefits (p < .04) compared with control women.
Pathological behaviors that are pathognomonic of AN may resolve into healthy food and activity choices that help maintain BMIs lower in the healthy range in recovered individuals. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2010)