Body mass index and daily physical activity in anorexia nervosa.

C.V.C. Bouten, W.D. van Marken Lichtenbelt, K.R. Westerterp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Bouten CV, van Marken Lichtenbelt WD, Westerterp KR.

Division of Computational and Experimental Mechanics, Einhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands.

The level of daily physical activity in 11 non-hospitalized women with anorexia (age: 21-48 yr, body mass index (BMI): 12.5-18.3 kg.m-2), compared with 13 normal-weight women (age: 20-35 yr, BMI 19.2-26.7 kg.m-2), was studied in relation to BMI. Daily physical activity over a 7-d period was determined from movement registration and by combining measurements of average daily metabolic rate (measured in a respiration chamber). Group averages of daily physical activity were similar for subjects with anorexia and control subjects. However, women with anorexia had either a low or a high level of daily physical activity, whereas most control subjects had a moderate level of daily physical activity. In the women with anorexia, daily physical activity was significantly related to BMI (r = 0.84). Subjects with a BMI > or = kg.m-2 were equally or more active compared with control subjects, while subjects with a BMI < 17 kg.m-2 were equally or less active compared with control subjects. The increased physical activity at BMI > or = 17 kg.m-2 is considered to be facilitated by an improving physical capacity combined with the advantages of a low body mass during weight-bearing activities. At lower BMI, undereating and declining physical capacity may have caused the observed decrease in daily physical activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-973
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume28
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996

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