Obesity or overweight is a worldwide phenomenon that is on the increase daily. However, there are also many people with the opposite problem of being too skinny. This is a concern, because being underweight can be just as bad for your health as being obese.
Additionally, many people who are not clinically underweight still want to gain some muscle. Whether you are clinically underweight or simply a “hard gainer” struggling to gain some muscle weight, the main principles are the same.
This article outlines a simple strategy to quickly gain weight, the healthy way.
What Does “Underweight” Really Mean?
Being underweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) below 18.5. This is estimated to be less than the body mass needed to sustain optimal health.
Conversely, over 25 is considered overweight and over 30 is considered obese.
Use this calculator to see where you fit on the BMI scale.
However, keep in mind that there are many problems with the BMI scale, which only looks at weight and height. It does not take muscle mass into account.
Some people are naturally very skinny but still healthy. Being underweight according to this scale does not necessarily mean that you have a health problem.
Bottom Line: Being underweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) below 18.5. It is much more common in women and girls.
What are the Health Consequences of being Underweight?
Obesity is currently one of the world’s biggest health problems.
However, being underweight may be just as bad for your health as being obese.
According to one study, being underweight was associated with a 140% greater risk of early death in men, and 100% in women.
In this study, obesity was “only” associated with a 50% greater risk of early death, indicating that being underweight may be even worse for your health.
Another study found increased risk of early death in underweight men, but not women. This indicates that being underweight may be worse for men.
Being underweight can also impair immune function, raise your risk of infections, lead to osteoporosis and fractures, and cause fertility problems.
Bottom Line: Being underweight can be just as unhealthy as being obese, if not more. People who are underweight are at risk of osteoporosis, infections, fertility problems and early death.
Several things can cause someone to become Underweight.
There are several medical conditions that can cause unhealthy weight loss.
Here are a few of them:
- Eating disorders:This includes anorexia nervosa, a serious mental disorder.
- Thyroid problems:Having an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can boost metabolism and cause unhealthy weight loss.
- Celiac disease:The most severe form of gluten intolerance. Most people with celiac disease don’t know that they have it.
- Diabetes:Having uncontrolled diabetes (mainly type 1) can lead to severe weight loss.
- Cancer:Cancerous tumors often burn large amounts of calories and can cause someone to lose a lot of weight.
- Infections:Certain infections can cause someone to become severely underweight. This includes parasites, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
If you are underweight, then you may want to see a doctor in order to rule out a serious medical condition.
This is particularly important if you have recently started losing large amounts of weight without even trying.
Bottom Line: There are several medical conditions that can cause unhealthy weight loss. If you are underweight, then see a doctor to rule out a serious health problem.
In the next post, we’ll explore the various healthy and safe options to gain weight, naturally & fast, if you so desire.
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