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Little Known Risks of a Low Body Mass Index (Low Weight)

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Weight-loss is one of the most frequently publicised aspects of health. Books and articles about weight loss and potential complications appear to be ubiquitous through the past decade. However, there is a lack of awareness for those who are underweight.  One of the most frequently used tools associated with weight, although be it quite unreliable, is the Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation. If you are above or below the ‘healthy’ guidelines, you are classed as overweight or underweight respectively. A low BMI is often due to malnutrition, although can also be a result of genetic disorders or other illnesses.


It has been shown that individuals with a low BMI or classed as underweight can be at risk of as many health risks as those who are classed as overweight. One of the aspects, which will affect individuals on a physical level, is bone density. The minerals and nutrients that usually keep your bones strong are leached or diverted in order to maintain muscle activity and fuelling essential organs. If the bone loss is significant enough, it can lead to a diagnosis of osteoporosis. This means that bones are particularly fragile and can result in multiple fractures from minimal injuries. There have been reported cases of teenagers with the same bone density of 90 year old due to a low BMI.

Physiotherapists work with those who are severely underweight to help build muscle mass and bone density by gradually increasing exercises from initially low impact to higher impact exercises. Those with low BMI would also work alongside nutritional experts in order to correct any deficits the body is currently experiencing and help to restore the individual to an appropriate and healthy weight.

Are you concerned about a low BMI? Have you been diagnosed with osteoporosis and are you looking to work with a physiotherapist?  Our physiotherapists are able to see you at work or home and we can often arrange the first appointment within 24 hours.

Contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or email us at