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UCLA Eating Disorders Program

UCLA Eating Disorders Program

Adolescent Inpatient and Partial Hospitalization Eating Program

A structured, individualized eating program is begun for each patient during inpatient hospitalization and then continued during partial hospitalization. 

Meals and snacks are prescribed by the team dietician in collaboration with the clinical nurse specialist to ensure adequate nourishment and facilitate weight restoration as needed.  Following a comprehensive physical exam, each patient is assigned a target weight range; this is the minimally acceptable weight range that the patient must maintain to permit healthy physical and cognitive functioning.  Meal and snack content is initially determined by the dietician.  Patients then progress to completing their own menus.  Meals and snacks are monitored by our program staff.  During partial hospitalization, patients gradually take on greater responsibility for self-regulation of eating.  This includes practicing snacks and meals off the unit -- initially supervised by the dietician or other program staff, and later with family members.  Patients in partial hospitalization also participate in a weekly cooking group, which includes planning, shopping for, preparing, and eating nutritionally balanced meals, and learning tools for decreasing the anxiety that may be associated with each of these activities.

In addition to individual meetings with the dietician for nutrition education and meal planning, patients meet with the dietician as a group. This group format provides an arena for discussion and education regarding various aspects of management of eating behaviors.  The dietician also meets with parents prior to discharge to discuss meal planning at home.

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