Being underweight is having a body weight below the accepted level in relation to the person’s gender, height and age. Anyone whose body mass index (BMI) is below 18.5 can be safely considered underweight. A person who is underweight will have meagre amount of fat deposits and less than acceptable proportion of muscle tissues. When fat deposits are low, the body starts using up muscle tissue to provide energy for supporting life.
The cause of low body weight is malnourishment, which can be caused by various factors such as lack of food, reduced appetite, inability to assimilate food and Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A major reason for lack of food is poverty. Reduced appetite could be caused by organic diseases and psychological impediments including anorexia. Inability to assimilate food could be the result of organic or latent psychosomatic disorders.
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