[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 1997

Resumption of Menses in Anorexia Nervosa: New Research Findings and Their Clinical Implications

Author Affiliations

Children's National Medical Center Washington, DC

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(1):14-15. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170380018002

GOLDEN ET AL1 developed a thorough and systematic approach to the important issue of the return of menses (ROM) in patients with anorexia nervosa. Their research builds on previous retrospective studies,2 with the advantage of the prospective view. The results hammer the last nail into the coffin of the "Frisch hypothesis," the proposition that menarche occurs at some fixed critical body weight.3 To be fair, Frisch herself never claimed that a critical body weight was necessary for the resumption of menses after weight loss. However, the Frisch hypothesis has been widely accepted and misapplied by professionals treating patients with anorexia nervosa, even though it was statistically refuted long ago.4 The study by Golden et al shows once more that adolescents with anorexia nervosa resume their menstrual periods at different body weights.

Pediatricians have been eager to predict ROM with some accuracy, because this relates to the