DOCTORS and healthcare professionals use BMI to check if a person’s weight is deemed healthy.
A normal BMI is considered to be between 18.5 and 24.9, but anything below 18.5 can set alarm bells ringing.
It suggests your weight is too low, and can be an indication of an eating disorder.
To check if you’re underweight, you can use the NHS BMI online calculator.
The NHS warns, being underweight is not good for your health.
It can cause nutritional deficiencies, and lead to you lacking vital nutrients, calcium to keep your bones strong, for example.
Without enough calcium, you’re at increased risk of osteoporosis.
If you’re lacking iron, you can develop anaemia, which can leave you feeling drained and very tired.
Being underweight can also weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and viruses.
And women who are underweight can encounter fertility problems, if their periods stop.
If your low weight is caused by your diet, the NHS recommends switching to a healthy, balanced diet.
It is advised to avoid high calorie food and to try and gain weight gradually.
If you’re underweight, or concerned about a loved one, speak to a GP or practice nurse to get help and advice.
To find out more, visit the NHS website here.