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Anorexia Nervosa

UPMC Content 3

Criteria for Diagnosing Anorexia Nervosa

Refusal or inability to maintain a normal body weight.


    • Adults: less than 85 percent of ideal body weight or a body mass index (BMI) of 17.5 or lower
    • Children: less than 85 percent of body weight expected for age and height or failure to gain weight during a growth period, leading to body weight less than 85 percent of that expected


  • Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat
  • Body image disturbance
  • Denial of the seriousness of low weight
  • At least three skipped menstrual periods in a row (for females who have begun menstruating)

Subtypes of Anorexia Nervosa

  • Restricting: dietary restriction or exercise only
  • Binge eating/purging: binge eating, self-induced vomiting, or misuse of diet pills, laxatives, or diuretics (water pills) during the current episode of low body weight

Need Help?

If you think you have an eating disorder, get help today. Learn more about treatment at the UPMC Center for Eating Disorders.

Contact Us

To make an inpatient referral or for questions regarding a hospital admission, please call 412-624-1000.

To refer to any outpatient levels of care, please provide your email address to receive a link to our patient intake form.

For general questions regarding any outpatient levels of care, please call 412-246-6390.

UPMC Center for Eating Disorders
3811 O'Hara St.
Eighth floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bellefield Towers
100 North Bellefield Ave.
Lower Level
Pittsburgh, PA 15213