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Atypical anorexia nervosa in adolescents. Presented by Dr Melissa Whitelaw PhD, APD, CEDC

A not-so atypical condition with significant risks

Atypical Anorexia Nervosa can be perceived as less common, less obvious and less severe than Anorexia Nervosa. In her PhD, Dr Melissa Whitelaw APD, PhD, CEDC found that in adolescents the degree and rate of weight loss were predictive of clinical course, not presenting body weight. This significant finding gives insight to the severity of complications in Atypical Anorexia Nervosa despite the individual not being at a “significantly low body weight”. 

Learn about:

  • How Atypical Anorexia Nervosa compares to Anorexia Nervosa in terms of diagnostic criteria, clinical course and medical complications.
  • The dilemma of weight restoration.
  • How Atypical Anorexia Nervosa is actually more typical than Anorexia Nervosa.  

Dr Melissa Whitelaw PhD, APD, CEDC was the lead dietitian in the Department of Adolescent Medicine at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne for 18 years. She has worked in private practice since 2005 and is an Honorary Fellow at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Melissa is supportive of the supervisory process offering supervision for dietitians working with children and adolescents diagnosed with eating disorders. Her individual and collaborative research has been presented internationally and led to multiple peer reviewed publications. Melissa’s PhD documented the prevalence of Atypical Anorexia Nervosa (AAN) compared with Anorexia Nervosa (AN); investigating the degree and rate of weight loss compared with actual weight, finding weight loss as predictor of clinical course in both AAN and AN.   

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