Underweight is a term used to describe someone who is below average weight for their height or whose BMI is particularly low. Professionals use BMI to evaluate individuals weight status and place them in to a band of overweight, underweight, obese or average weight.
The table below illustrates the different bands:
BMI Weight Status
Below 20 Underweight
20 – 25 Acceptable Weight Range
25.0 – 30.0 Overweight
Over 30.0 - Clinically Obese
Over 40 - Morbidly Obese
Click on the following BMI chart to see your BMI Body Mass Index Chart
Being underweight can be a result of an over active thyroid gland or a symptom of other illnesses. However, some people of slight builds are naturally underweight despite eating a sensible healthy diet.
There is much speculation about social pressure and media hype over the importance of being thin and a link to people deliberately striving to be underweight. The recent surge in eating disorders is alarming with number of anorexic and bulimic cases rising and the age of those developing the illnesses lowering.