We often hear about the health implications of being overweight or obese. Of course, we know it increases your risk of a myriad of diseases, from diabetes and heart disease to struggles with mental health. But, being underweight is associated with certain health risks, as well.
So, how do you know if you are underweight? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention use a Body Mass Index (BMI) chart to determine whether a person is a healthy weight. BMI measures body fat based on height and weight, which applies to adult men and women. BMI is an essential factor in determining overall health and wellness. But, it is just one single factor. The best picture of overall health combines the BMI scale and additional critical health factors. These include blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, cholesterol, and lean muscle mass vs. fat mass.
To answer the “am I underweight,” we look to the BMI chart. This chart divides into four categories: underweight, healthy, overweight, and obese. A person who is determined to be underweight will have a body mass index of under 18.5. A person in this category is at higher risk for certain health conditions. They include:
With help from your doctor, you may be able to attain a healthy BMI through lifestyle modifications and healthy eating habits.
A BMI is calculated using this formula:
weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703
In other words, you calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds by height in inches squared and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.
Suppose you fall into the category of an underweight BMI. In that case, your doctor can help you navigate solutions to address malnutrition, immune function, fertility, and any underlying health conditions that may be present. Unfortunately, it is common for underweight symptoms to be related to poor diet. The good news is there are creative ways to get more calories from nutrient-dense foods into your body. For example, nutrition experts recommend homemade protein smoothies made with milk to get a nice balance of proteins, carbs, and fats. Dairy is also a great source of calcium, which helps combat osteoporosis.
If you’re ready to change your life and health forever, contact one of our leading experts at BASS Bariatric Surgery Center today. Our surgeons are equipped with knowledge, expertise, experience, and mastery when it comes to bariatric and obesity surgery. We’re here to support you in taking that next step.