Project Description

Low Weight

2% of Australians are underweight [1]

Too many people trying to shed excess kilos, being underweight may seem a blessing. However, overly thin or low weight people run significant risks of infections (poorer immunity), osteoporosis, sensitivity to the cold, a general lack of muscle strength and a raft of other medical issues. Especially in the elderly, an underweight person has no “reserves” if they become unwell.

While overly underweight people (which runs around 2% of the adult Australian population) should consult their GP to examine possible causes, an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) plays a highly beneficial role in helping to gain weight.

How a dietitian helps

A dietitian has a variety of approaches in helping a client gain weight effectively, nutritiously and for the longer term. As always, it starts with a body composition analysis and a dietary assessment. Tailoring an individual plan to suit a client’s eating and lifestyle habits, a Healthier You dietitian is likely to recommend a strategy which includes:

  • Increased overall food intake
  • Increased snacking and meal frequency
  • Increased energy density in each meal
  • Adequate protein intake
  • Food fortification
  • Food diaries
  • Supplements
  • Individualised nutrition advice and meal plans
  • Long-term nutritional management

Being significantly underweight is potentially a serious medical condition. Anyone with such a condition should seek advice from both a GP and a dietitian.