What is underweight?
Underweight means that someone weighs less for his/her height than what is recommended. Underweight may be caused by an underlying, unknown disease. If one loses a lot of weight in a short time without an apparent reason, it’s better to visit your general practitioner. Underweight may also be cause by a fast metabolism or by an eating disorder. Also visit your general practitioner in case of an (suspecting) eating disorder.
Underweight is a health risk. This is the case because you’ll have an increased risk on a shortage of nutrients, not being in shape anymore because of the decreasing of your muscle strength and on having less energy. To know if you are underweight, the BMI is an important guideline.
As an adult between 18 and 70 years this is a BMI <18.5, and over 70 years a BMI of < 20. For children under 18 years, there is different guideline for every age. If you want to calculate your BMI, click here.
We speak of unintentional weight loss if:
> 5% unintentional weight loss within one month
> 10% unintentional weight loss within six months and/or a low body weight.
The role of the dietitian
The dietitian has access to a screening method to measure whether there is malnourishment. Because of an aging population malnourishment and underweight increases in the Netherlands. There are many aspects involved in malnourishment like physical, psychological and social problems. Collaboration with other health care providers is therefore often desirable. Think for example of a psychologist, a physiotherapist or a social worker.
The dietitian can create a diet (with or without special dietary foods) to supplement the deficiencies by increasing specific nutrients.
With what can we help you?
In our practice we have a lot of knowledge about underweight/malnourishment. With us you are at the right place if you want some support to overcome your underweight. If you have a child with an eating disorder or suspect that there is an eating disorder, then we can help you for sure. But as an adult you are too of course. We can also help you if you are underweight for other reasons. During the first consultation, we make a very detailed anamnesis to what your living conditions, diet, etc. look like. Together we will look at what are achievable steps for you and how we can assist you in this. Besides creating your personal dietary advice, we assist you in familiarizing yourself with the "new" diet. Coaching and periodic evaluation meetings with one of us can support you in this.