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Obesity and Weight Management

Am I horribly underweight?

03/26/2007

Question:

I`m 21, almost 22. I`m 5`2, and I weight 7 stone 1... last time I checked, my BMI was 16.5...

Most sites I`ve looked at say this is quite a bad state to be in, but my parents say I am absolutely fine and don`t need to worry, especially since I have always been slender. I have never been heavier than 8 stone 2, and I only hit that for a short period of time...

Should I be worried about my weight?

Answer:

Your weight is 99 pounds and your height is 5'2" which gives you a BMI of 18.1. The ideal body weight for a woman your age would be between 105-110 pounds. This places you 6 pounds below the ideal body weight. A BMI between 18.5-24.9 is considered normal weight. With your BMI at 18.1, you will be considered underweight.

People with a BMI below 18.5 have sometimes been found to have medical conditions that are harmful for their health. However, since this has always been your growth trajectory, your weight may work well for you. If you are concerned, I would suggest you see your physician for a medical and physical evaluation to make sure everything is alright.

Remember, to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise along with an adequate intake of calories, about 2000 calories a day for a young adult.

Submitted by Cynthia S. Yensel, MS, RN, CPNP, Nurse Practitioner, Center For Healthy Weight And Nutrition

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Response by:

Robert D Murray, MD Robert D Murray, MD
Clinical Professor of Health Behaviors & Health Promotion
Retired Professor of Human Nutrition
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University