I usually blog about losing weight. Today I’m blogging about dangerous weight loss.
I have written about dangerous ways to lose weight and there are many. This time I’m writing about the danger of losing too much weight. While much attention is given to the health benefits of weight loss, less attention is given to the dangers of purposely getting too thin.
The most obvious danger of being too thin is the severe restriction of calories it takes to achieve getting very skinny.
Calories come from nutrients the body needs to build and repair tissues. Calories are in the foods the body needs to protect it from disease. When calories are restricted the body receives inadequate nutrition. Vitamin supplements cannot make up for a nutritionally deficient diet.
Just as the Body Mass Index (BMI) is useful for identifying individuals whose weight may be unhealthfully high, it also identifies individuals whose health is endangered because they are underweight. For most adults (age 18 and older) the healthy BMI range is 18.5 – 24.
Some people become very thin because of medical conditions. I’m not writing about those people. This blog is about people who purposely work to get very thin and display more than just disordered eating. This blog is about people who suffer from an eating disorder specifically to become very, very thin.
Some people, especially young women, value thinness to an extreme level.
If thin is good, then thinner is better. Sometimes the number on the scale isn’t good enough. The number may be low, but these people need other ways to gauge their success.
There are a number of ways that they use to gauge extreme thinness. Lower body skinniness can be appreciated (by those who value skinniness) with thigh gaps. The goal is when standing with knees together, the thighs do not touch anywhere from crotch to knees. It’s dumb! Don’t try it!
Then there was the Belly Button Challenge. It’s dumb! Don’t try it!
The newest fascination is with upper body thinness as measured by how many quarters can be deposited in the collarbone hollow. The more the quarters the better! It’s dumb! Don’t try it!
When or rather how will we stop obsessing about how bodies look and give our attention to accepting our bodies as nature designed them and giving them our best care to allow our bodies to give us a long, healthy, and happy life?