WEIGHT LOSS
WEIGHT REDUCTION
WEIGHT
lb
210
200
190
180
170
^ 160
150
j j
^ 140
130
120
110
100
90
c
BMI > 25)
(BMI
20
- 25)
Underweigh
(BMI < 20)
5 150 152 154 156 158 160 162 164 166 168170 172 174 176 178 180 182 184 186 188 190 192 194 cm
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1
i
1
i
1---1
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1
i
1
i
1
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1
i
1
H
----h
1
i
1
i
1
— i
1-----h
S - 1
59
60
61
62
63
64 65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
in
WEIGHT ASSESSMENT CHART
40
57
58
HEIGHT
Weight loss
or weight gain occurs if the
net balance is disturbed.
Weight can be compared with standar-
dized charts for height, age, and sex. At
all ages, divergence from the normal
weight for height may have medical
implications. For example, if weight is
below 80 per cent of the standard
weight for height, the individual's
nutri-
tion
is probably inadequate as a result
of poor diet or disease, and if
20
per
cent above the standard, he or she is
considered to be suffering from
obesity.
An alternative method of assessment is
use of the
body mass index
(BMI, or
Quetelet's index), obtained by dividing
weight in kilograms by the square of
height in metres. A healthy weight is
20-25 BMI; a BMI of greater than 25 indi-
cates that a person is overweight.
weight loss This occurs any time there
is a decrease in energy intake compared
with energy expenditure. The decrease
may be due to deliberate
weight reduc-
tion
or a change in diet or activity level.
It may also be a symptom of a disorder.
Unexplained weight loss should always
be investigated by a doctor.
Many diseases disrupt the appetite,
which may lead to weight loss.
Depres-
sion
reduces the motivation to eat,
peptic
ulcer
causes pain and possible food
avoidance, and some kidney disorders
cause loss of appetite due to the effect of
uraemia.
In
anorexia nervosa
and
bulimia,
complex psychological factors affect an
individual's eating pattern.
Digestive disorders, such as
gastro-
enteritis
, lead to weight loss through
vomiting. Cancer of the oesophagus (see
oesophagus, cancer
of) and
stomach
cancer
cause loss of weight, as does
malabsorption
of nutrients in certain
disorders of the intestine or pancreas.
Some disorders cause weight loss by
increasing the rate of metabolic activity
in cells. Examples are any type of
cancer,
chronic infection such as
tuberculosis
,
and
hyperthyroidism
. Untreated
diabetes
mellitus
also causes weight loss due to
a number of factors.
weight reduction The process of los-
ing excess body fat. A person who is
severely overweight (see
obesity
) is more
at risk of various illnesses, such as
dia-
betes mellitus, hypertension
(high blood
pressure), and heart disease.
The most efficient way to lose weight
is to eat 500-1,000 kcal (2,100-4,200 kJ)
a day less than the body's total energy
requirements. Exercise also forms an
extremely important part of a reducing
regime,
burning
excess
energy
and
improving muscle tone.
In most circumstances, drugs play lit-
tle part in a weight loss programme.
596
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