Underweight occurs because of chronic energy deficiency due to improper quantity of food intake. People whose BMI is less than 18.5 are considered as underweight.
• It is generally occurs in people who are hyperactive, nervous and who never take rest. when it reaches to severe state power of concentration is less, reduced decision making ability occurs..
• Underweight can occurs in conditions like hyperthyroidism, and in decreased digestion and absorption capacity, in fever and gastrointestinal disturbances.
• Psychological factors like continous rejection of food due to desire to lose weight, specially in girls.
• Underweight can also result of diseases like tuberculosis, diabetes, cancer.
• Inadequate diet in protein or long starvation lead to loss of fatty tissues which results in underweight.
Signs and Symptoms
• Mild anaemia due to lower intake of iron rich food.
• Slower heart rate.
• Pitutary harmone abnormalities due to deficiency of vitamins and minerals.
• Thinning and dryness of hair, diminished muscle mass due to poor quantity of protein intake
• Loss of subcutaneous fat, brittle nails, absence or delayed menstrual periods
• Diet should be high in calorie value, additional 500 calories per day will help to increase the weight, increase in calorie should be gradual otherwise it will create digestive disturbance.
• Increase the quantity and quality of protein for tissue building.
• High calorie fatty food such as cream, butter help to increase the weight.
• Do not eat fried food at the beginning of meal as they reduced appetite.
• High carbohydrate sources like yam ,potato, should be given, dried fruits, sweets ,cereals, nonvegetarian foods can be liberally included in diet.
• Increase the number of meals.
• Enough fluids are important to avoid constipation.
• Avoid synthetic drinks, soft drinks, alcohols, excess tea and coffea as it reduces appetite.
• Regular outdoor exercise helps to stimulate appetite
• Emotional wellbeing is essential for good appetite.