3D body scanners could help treat eating disorders, researchers say

3D body scanners could help people with anorexia and bulimia beat the eating disorders, Scottish scientists suggested Wednesday.

In a pilot study, patients were more accepting of images of their body gained from 3D scanning -- which measures the volume of all aspects of their frame -- than the standard 2D imaging, which represents only the front view.

Dr. Arthur Stewart, who led the study at Robert Gordon University's Institute of Health and Welfare Research in Aberdeen, said, "3D scanning more fully represents the actual person in question. It does not measure perception or dissatisfaction, but merely captures 3D shape accurately. "

He added, "We know eating disorder patients do not see their own shape accurately, and we have used 3D modeling software to create an 'orbit camera' view of the person which will enable visual appraisal of 3D shape to be possible."

Stewart said that all existing methods for gauging a patients' dissatisfaction with their bodies were based on 2D images and using 3D imaging could "develop the basis for new treatment interventions of eating disorders."

It is estimated that around eight million Americans have an eating disorder, with 95 percent of sufferers aged between 12 and 25.