Underweight? Don’t Worry

Most people who are underweight should not be greatly concerned about gaining weight. A reasonable degree of underweight is generally consistent with good health, stamina, and good life expectancy. As a matter of fact, life insurance statistics show that the best life expectancy is found among those who maintain a weight slightly below the accepted norm.

If you are seriously underweight, chances are that you have been under medical care. If not, you should be. However, if a health examination shows that your underweight is not caused by an organic deficiency and you want to gain weight, your principal problem is the opposite of weight reduction-increase your total food intake.

Most thin people fail to reach their normal weight because they don’t have appetites as great as heavier persons. Sometimes various tonics will stimulate appetite; but in most instances the stimulation is more psychological than actual. Those who are underweight sometimes benefit by taking supplementary B complex vitamins in capsule form.

However, most underweights can really gain poundage by augmenting their regular meals with liberal amounts of bread and butter, cream, and cereals, and by taking in-between nourishment as follows: malted milk or eggnog about an hour and a half after breakfast; again about two hours after lunch; a glass of milk and crackers just before retiring. In addition, they may do quite well by taking a 1 1/2-ounce glass of olive or other vegetable oil after breakfast and after dinner each day.

Check your normal weight.

Remember that normal weight is not the same for all persons in a given age-height group. In other words, three different men, each 5′ 10″ in height and thirty years of age, may have different normal weights. The differences are due to body structure. In this case, a person with a heavy bone structure would have a normal weight of 181 pounds; one with a medium bone structure would be normal at 161 pounds; a person with a light bone structure should normally weigh 145.

Your normal weight also tends to remain fixed within very narrow limits, so that while you may not weigh the amount considered normal for your age, height, and bone structure, your weight should not vary more than a few pounds under and above the norm.

For purposes of accurate checking, you should weigh yourself weekly on the same scale at about the same time of day.

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