Anorexia is a serious eating disorder that manifests itself as periods of under-eating that leads to weight loss - however, it is not fully diagnosed until the patient has reached a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 17.5. Our calculator allows you to check your BMI, or that of your loved one, to see if you or they fall into the anorexic category. Once this is established, it will make it easier to decide if medical intervention is required and to what extent true anorexia has taken hold.
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Are you or a loved one are suffering from anorexia?
Anorexia is a serious eating disorder that manifests itself as periods of under-eating that leads to weight loss – however, it is not fully diagnosed until the patient has reached a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 17.5. Our calculator allows you to check your BMI, or that of your loved one, to see if you or they fall into the anorexic category. Once this is established, it will make it easier to decide if medical intervention is required and to what extent true anorexia has taken hold.
What is anorexia?
Most of us use the term anorexia to describe the eating disorder that afflicts mostly young women aged between 16 and 24. (although more men and boys are being affected in recent years). However, the actual term is
, which more clearly shows that this is an emotional disorder related to a fear of food, weight gain and body image issues. While many believe that cultural and societal beliefs about body size and diet obsessions have fuelled the rise in anorexia nervosa, there is now an acceptance that general mental health issues and anxiety have a huge role to play in the development of eating disorders in general.
How do anorexics control their weight?
Anorexics will often control their weight through a variety of methods including refusal to eat certain foods (or any food at all), excessive exercising, vomiting after eating (bulimia) and using laxative or diet pills. The result is a loss of weight that may at first be praised by family and friends, offering more incentive to the dieter to continue. However, after a period of time it may become clear that too much weight has been lost and that intervention is required. Knowing the point at which this level has been reached is where our Anorexic BMI Calculator comes in. It offers an objective viewpoint that will be accepted by doctors.
What is a BMI?
The BMI is a calculation of body weight compared to height that offers a clear ratio that suits almost all people and can be used to make comparisons between people. It was originally devised by the American health insurance industry as a way for them to measure the weight and health of their customers and rank them – therefore knowing which customers were likely to have weight-related issues.
It is not a perfect measure as it does not take into account
or muscle density – meaning that those with a lot of muscle can be considered overweight using this scale. However, at the other end of the scale, issues like anorexia can be confidently flagged – making it a great way to identify this issue.
Diagnosis of anorexia based on BMI can vary between doctors, but a healthy BMI is considered to between 18.5 and 24.9. Someone who is lower than 18.5 is considered to be underweight, but not necessarily unhealthy. Once BMI reaches lower than 17.5, most doctors will start to have concerns. However rapid weight loss at any BMI can ring alarm bells.
How is anorexia treated?
Early intervention is regarded as the best treatment for anorexia and this is why keeping a close watch on weight loss is important for parents. Measuring BMI will help to see any changes and to help work out the very best time to visit the doctor for a referral to an eating disorders clinic. This is the beauty of our anorexic BMI calculator – it will clearly show weight loss over time and give parents and the patient a clear view of how BMI is changing and when to take action. This can be very reassuring.
How the anorexic BMI calculator works
The calculator asks a number of easy questions and will offer a BMI calculation as a result. These include your current age in years, your sex, your height in centimeters or inches and your weight in kilograms or pounds. If you are a normal body composition (ie not a bodybuilder or athlete) and not a child, this will give an accurate representation of your BMI and where on the scale you are compared to other people of your age, height, and sex.
This example shows a male aged 25 who is 5ft 10 and weighs 160 pounds. This places him in a normal weight range for his height and this is indicated by the wording in green. In this case, the details have been added in Imperial (US terms) rather than in metric – but the results would be the same regardless of the input method used. You should use whatever measurements you know and are comfortable with.
This version shows details that have been added in metric units. Once again this is not anorexic but is still close to being underweight. Always note that children should not use this calculator as it is designed for the adult body composition. Equally, people who work out, lift weights or are athletes may have abnormal body compositions, making this a difficult measure to use.
Here we have indicated a clear anorexic BMI and if this was to be flagged up, it is suggested that the user speaks to their doctor and has their diet examined to see if there is a problem that might get worse.
Anorexia should never be ignored as it can be successfully cured if caught early – preventing a lifelong issue with food and weight that can be detrimental to physical and mental health. Our calculator can help you to decide when that time has come.