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04 Jul 2011

do you need to have a BMI under 17,5 to be classified anorexic?
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Eating Disorders Expert
Eating Disorders and Obesity Expert

01 Jan 0001

Hello there,
There are a number of criteria that an individual needs to meet in order to be diagnosed as suffering from Anorexia Nervosa. As far as weight is concerned, the criteria are specific that you need to be 15% underweight for your age and sex. This would equate to the BMI you suggested. However, I suggest that you read my response to a question sent to me on 03/07/2011 (question 35), in which I have discussed BMI in more detail. Although eating disorders have specific criteria, I caution against meeting criteria as the most important issue to consider. More important is the sufferer's mood, living circumstances, duration of struggling, coping mechanisms, self-esteem etc. Although some treatment centres use criteria alone as a guide for admission or treatment strategy, I caution to this and feel it more important to look at a wide variety of issues. I hope that I have answered your question?
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