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BMI and Anorexia

answered 05:01 PM EST, Tue July 03, 2012
anonymous anonymous
Is it possible to have a bmi of 13 and not be an anorexic? I just did a calculation of what my 15 year old daughter weighs and how tall she is and she is a 13.2 bmi. I am worried about her and but I am not sure how to know if she has anorexia or not.

Dr. Lani Chin Says...

There are other factors to consider when looking at a diagnosis of anorexia.  Anorexia nervosa is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a medical condition whereby individuals do not maintain a normal body weight, fear gaining weight, experience body image disturbances, and, in females, miss three consecutive menstrual cycles. Anorexia is an often fatal condition, and many individuals who have anorexia often have other psychological and physiological problems.  It is difficult to diagnose only knowing your daughter's BMI.  For a 15 year old female, however, a BMI of 13 seems incredibly low.  I would recommend you take her to see a pediatrician to confirm the diagnosis.  Good luck to both of you.

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Page last updated Jul 03, 2012

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