BMI 17.2

BMI 16 to 18.4 is Underweight

A BMI of 17.2 can indicate that your weight is low. Low body mass can decrease your body's immune system, which could lead to illness such as malnutrition, bone loss, and other conditions. The lower your BMI the greater these risks become.


With a BMI of 17.2, your body weight is considered too low to be healthy.

A person may be underweight due to metabolism, lack of food, genetics, or illness.

Being underweight is associated with certain medical conditions, including hyperthyroidism, cancer, or tuberculosis. People with gastrointestinal or liver problems may be unable to absorb nutrients adequately.

The underweight may additionally develop hair loss or osteoporosis, even if they are quite young.

If your body doesn't have enough fat and nutrient stores, you might feel weak. This lack of energy may make it difficult to get through day-to-day tasks at work, home or school.

Lack of energy is likely due to a lack of iron in your blood, a nutrient that helps prevent anemia.

Although being underweight has been reported to increase mortality at rates comparable to that seen in morbidly obese people, the effect is much less drastic when restricted to non-smokers with no history of disease, suggesting that smoking and disease-related weight loss are the leading causes of the observed effect.

Underweight treatment

Conventional therapies for weight gain largely depend on the cause of the weight loss.

Certainly, if some sort of physical illness, such as a thyroid disorder or diabetes can be identified, treatment of these conditions can help restore the lost weight. For others, the most direct solution is increase in calorie intake.

To help begin restoring nutrients to very thin people, very high calorie, vitamin-packed nutritional supplements are often given to revitalize the body. If there is a psychological disorder behind the weight loss, such as anorexia or bulimia, addition counseling may also help greatly in the quest to reach a healthier weight.

A nutritionist can help you gain weight safely

Prior to your first consultation your nutritionist may ask you to compile a food diary to help them establish your eating habits. This will allow them to build a picture of what you eat, when you eat and how much you eat.

The nutritionist may also want to carry out certain tests where appropriate to rule out any underlying conditions or to find specific vitamin deficiencies.

When putting together your program the nutritionist may take into consideration some of the following:

  • Physical activity

Eating more calories than you burn is essential for weight gain but ceasing physical activity is not the answer.

Remaining active is essential for the maintenance of optimal well-being and many nutrition programs will include exercise regimes or physical activity recommendations.

  • Food enjoyment

The nutritionist will provide you with a program with the intention of you learning to adopt a healthier way of eating indefinitely. The initial adjustment to a different way of eating may be difficult at first but it is important that the foods included on the list are ones that you enjoy and could commit to eating regularly. If there some suggestions you really dislike then its unlikely you will stick to the plan so talk to your nutritionist and see if there are any suitable substitutes or choices.

Your final program should be achievable, realistic and may include suggested supplements, physical activity recommendations, meal plans and a list of suitable foods.

It is important to stress on the risks of being underweight as more attention is focused on being overweight. Being thin is considered being better than being overweight, but it is not true. Thinness comes with its very own set of problems and risks.

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