How bad is being underweight?

This has been on my mind for a while now, and I'm starting to get concerned with my body weight. I am fairly average ish height for my age, 5' 8", but I only weigh 7 stone 11 pounds / 45 kilos.

I am very, very skinny - you can see my heart beat through my chest after exercise (and sometimes even through clothes - once it was vigorously pumping through a t-shirt and fleece after a mile long 45 degree hill...).

I wanted to know - what are the dangers of being underweight? Are they as serious as being obese / overweight? Will I get bigger as I get older? Any tips for putting on weight?

TL;DR I am 5' 8" and weigh 45 kilos. Is this bad?

EDIT: Just make things clearer, I am male, 16, and if Im honest do very little exercise, apart from occasionally riding my bike.

This is the kind of thing you want to speak to a doctor about. But if you must know, some things to worry about would be malnutrition and um, well you body needs something to burn up when you're exercising. If it's not getting what it wants from fat/calories, then it has to get it from elsewhere, which is very bad.

Oh and advice? Eat. Not unhealthily, but eat.

Two of the major problems with being underweight is that your immune system is weakened and your body's ability to heal and mend itself is severely compromised.

A friend of mine suffers from Crohn's Disease which makes it difficult for him to consume much food without severe pain and he has been skeletal his entire life. After a recent abdominal surgery to remove the bad section of his intestines, his recovery time took over 3 months because he was so malnourished. He has since put on over 50 lbs by simply eating three square meals a day with an emphasis on proteins.

If you do a lot of physical training, you do need to be consuming a great deal of calories. And yes, see a doctor and they can help you scope out a good diet and exercise plan to maintain a healthy weight.

It depends how old you are, height so-on
Being a little underweight is ok.
For example im 5'6 and weigh 110-120 LBs.
I know im a bit overweight but I don't seen it as bad.
If your wanting to gain weight eat more (not unhealthy) food.
Get exercise if you don't.
If you get exercise keep it at a normal level. (Not more or less)

Holy crap. 45 Kilos?! srry I'm about 6'3" and weigh twice that... Check with a doctor about some kind of dietary solutions. Being underweight is just as bad as being overweight man, if not worse.

ToxicOranges:
This has been on my mind for a while now, and I'm starting to get concerned with my body weight. I am fairly average ish height for my age, 5' 8", but I only weigh 7 stone 11 pounds / 45 kilos.

I am very, very skinny - you can see my heart beat through my chest after exercise (and sometimes even through clothes - once it was vigorously pumping through a t-shirt and fleece after a mile long 45 degree hill...).

I wanted to know - what are the dangers of being underweight? Are they as serious as being obese / overweight? Will I get bigger as I get older? Any tips for putting on weight?

TL;DR I am 5' 8" and weigh 45 kilos. Is this bad?

How old are you?

Because I personally was also thin (not as skinny as you mind you) until I got around 20... now I am no longer thin :P

I think some of it might be your age i'm guessing your young. You should definitely make sure you eat well, 3 sizable meals a day at least to start and see how that affects your weight and what it makes you feel like. Milk, lots of it will help you put on some pounds. Drinking a few glasses a day is almost like eating an extra meal without the limitations of how much you can eat. Besides eating more maybe you should start exercising your upper body and not just running, it will fill you out more and get you to gain extra weight to a point. I ended up gaining roughly 15 to 20 pounds when I started working out.

If your doing all this, eating a lot, drinking milk, and exercising but not gaining weight I'd suggest seeing a doctor. You never know maybe you have a tape worm or something that is making it so you can't gain weight. To be honest you should probably go see a doctor first and get their opinion because left unchecked if you do have a problem it could get worse by the time you decide there is something wrong.

Yeah, at your age you'll be skinnier, you'll probably start getting a bit bigger when you get to around my age (I hate it, when you're in your teens you don't have to look after yourself, at all). Still, just eat lots of food, you should be ok. Just don't eat crap. Don't want you to get diabetes.

So long as you aren't starving yourself (i.e. you eat when you're hungry and you eat until you're full) I wouldn't worry TOO much about it.
My boyfriend's also underweight, although to be fair he weighs about 5 kilos more than you (same height). He's a fully grown adult, also. He has no health problems because of it so far.

Sometimes bodies just like being smaller or bigger than average.

You might want to ask your doctor what you might be able to do about putting on some muscle, though, just 'cause I don't imagine you're very strong at that weight.

Here i was thinking few people were my near my weight (I'm 5 foot 7 and 50kg/110 lbs). I'm in late twenties. I've been wondering about this issue myself since my ribs stick out so much and my arms are twigs which is probably not good at my age. It's just that for me I'm rarely hungry (eat 1.5meals a day) and kinda feel like I don't deserve food which is its own other issue. I also feel up so fast when I do try to eat something (also unhealthy food has no impact on my weight) So any advice also would be great ^^.

My boyfriend is taller than and weighs less than you. He is fine.

I am slightly shorter than, and weigh quite a lot less than you. I am fine. We're both in our mid-twenties.

If you're worried, see a doctor. Chances are, you are fine.

TheRightToArmBears:
(I hate it, when you're in your teens you don't have to look after yourself, at all)

Lies. LIES.
I wish I were that lucky...

That being said, OP, you are a growing boy. Yes, some people are naturally extra skinny, but chances are, if you're that thin, you're probably not eating as much as you should.
Get plenty of calcium, vegitabibles, etc. You're not done laying down bone.

Weight on its own does not decide health; a good clue to figuring out how you are is looking at the rest of your family. Does your family consist primarily of skinny people?
How good is your and their diet?

Are you female? In that case, being underweight may potentially harm your ability to have kids in the future. Apart from that, lack of nutrients will in the long run harm you by giving you brittle bones and other fun stuff.

If you're worried, see a doctor. They know this stuff better than a bunch of random people online. Good luck to you!

ToxicOranges:
I wanted to know - what are the dangers of being underweight? Are they as serious as being obese / overweight? Will I get bigger as I get older? Any tips for putting on weight?

The dangers depend on you, you might be malnourished or lack something if you don't eat enough of it, but only doctors can tell you that with certitude. Ultimately, different people have different healthy weights, someone might weigh twice what you do with the same height and be healthy, and you might be healthy. Then again, you might not.

As far as it being serious, pound for pound being underweight is more serious than being overweight. But being overweight has more room to be extreme (as you can be, say, 100 pounds overweight, but you'd be dead before being 100 pounds underweight).

Eat when you are hungry, try to eat healthy food that provide what your body needs (and if you don't eat a lot, you really don't want it to be junk food. You need vitamins, proteins, etc), exercise to have some muscle and boost your immune system, and follow a doctor's advice. We can't know simply from a weight and height if you are healthy or not. With two people the same height and weight, one might be as healthy as they can be, and the other dangerously unhealthy. BMI, Waist-to-hip ratio and the like, these things are meant to give a general guideline but aren't absolute truth.

Oh, and if you do eat a lot but are skinny, you might have a very high metabolism, but you might also have a parasite or something like that, so when you see your doctor try to keep track of what you eat and how much you exercise in the few days before (provided they're average days) so the doctor can get an idea of whether your weight makes sense according to your daily activities. That might lead to other tests being done for other things (such as parasites, as I said).

Do NOT eat lots of fattening food. It's unhealthy. Many problems linked to obesity aren't caused by the obesity, but by the food and sedentary life which also cause obesity. In other words, many of the problems that cause obesity cause other things, as opposed to obesity causing these other things. You can have high cholesterol, diabetes, a heart attack, etc, as a result of bad eating habits even if your weight is average or lower than average. So while junk food is fine from time to time, don't try eating lots of it to gain weight as you're likely to suffer from other health issues if you do that. It would be much better to focus on food high in protein such as eggs or beans or animals, coupled with grains, preferably whole grain, and plenty of fruit and vegetables. In other words, the same guidelines as everybody else.

ToxicOranges:
This has been on my mind for a while now, and I'm starting to get concerned with my body weight. I am fairly average ish height for my age, 5' 8", but I only weigh 7 stone 11 pounds / 45 kilos.

I am very, very skinny - you can see my heart beat through my chest after exercise (and sometimes even through clothes - once it was vigorously pumping through a t-shirt and fleece after a mile long 45 degree hill...).

I wanted to know - what are the dangers of being underweight? Are they as serious as being obese / overweight? Will I get bigger as I get older? Any tips for putting on weight?

TL;DR I am 5' 8" and weigh 45 kilos. Is this bad?

At fifteen I was 6'1" and ~50 kilos.

Don't stress.

5 years later I now weigh a healthy 70~Kg and I'm only a little taller.

It's an age/hormone thing.

If you're <20 and male being really really really disproportionate is normal either skinny or fat. But if you're concerned go see a doctor.

I would suggest a high calorie diet with as much protein as you are comfortable eating, beans, eggs, meat, nuts, grains, fish it's all good.

Take up a sport that requires weight bearing and explosive power rather than endurance activities. Don't lift heavy weights if you're <18-20. It's generally not good for you.

EDIT: Don't give up running, it's a hugely beneficial habit/hobby to have. It will also give you the stamina and possibly speed needed to give you an edge in most sports which will make up for your lack of bulk.

I'm not a medical professional, but 45 kilos honestly sounds pretty dangerous. Sounds like you may have a problem with your metabolism, so I'd have a chat with my doctor if I were you. I wouldn't give up excercising, but maybe try a high calorie diet with plenty of protein (not candy). Fat is really important to protect your organs and develop your brain, but if you are putting on weight you should probably try storing some of that energy in muscles as well. But like I've said, I'm not a medical professional.

Also, I'm assuming you're male.

ToxicOranges:
This has been on my mind for a while now, and I'm starting to get concerned with my body weight. I am fairly average ish height for my age, 5' 8", but I only weigh 7 stone 11 pounds / 45 kilos.

I am very, very skinny - you can see my heart beat through my chest after exercise (and sometimes even through clothes - once it was vigorously pumping through a t-shirt and fleece after a mile long 45 degree hill...).

I wanted to know - what are the dangers of being underweight? Are they as serious as being obese / overweight? Will I get bigger as I get older? Any tips for putting on weight?

TL;DR I am 5' 8" and weigh 45 kilos. Is this bad?

There is an underlimite you shouldn't cross. I don't know where this is. But as long as you pay attention to what you eat, it ought not be that dangerous. Make sure you get enough of the vital minerals. If you eating little to stay skinny, then I recommend you stop. But that's your choice. If you want to stay skinny, start looking for what those vital minerals are, and how you can get them. For example. I became a vegaterian a while back, and didn't chance my diet. I almost fainted after the third week. That was because I lacked Iron, and my blood couldn't hold much oxygen. So I looked for a source of iron besides meat. I found it in eggs, now I'm okay again. You ought to do the same. Search for what minerals a human needs, and find out which ones you aren't getting. Then find a source for those.
But yeah ask a doctor

--

Ask a doctor.

It's not just about weight, it's about how it's distributed.

cerealnmuffin:
Here i was thinking few people were my near my weight (I'm 5 foot 7 and 50kg/110 lbs). I'm in late twenties. I've been wondering about this issue myself since my ribs stick out so much and my arms are twigs which is probably not good at my age. It's just that for me I'm rarely hungry (eat 1.5meals a day) and kinda feel like I don't deserve food which is its own other issue. I also feel up so fast when I do try to eat something (also unhealthy food has no impact on my weight) So any advice also would be great ^^.

in your case since the act of eating seems to be the issue you may have to take the route of supplements/protein shakes (which are nasty i might add). I wish i could help more but i only know a little bit sorry.

ToxicOranges:

I am very, very skinny - you can see my heart beat through my chest after exercise (and sometimes even through clothes - once it was vigorously pumping through a t-shirt and fleece after a mile long 45 degree hill...).

Talk to a doctor very, very soon. That does not sound healthy.

 

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