MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: What's a bigger health risk, being over or under w

Date: Mon Feb 2 13:33:45 2004
Posted By: Elizabeth Kunkel, Faculty, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Clemson University
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1075481351.Gb

That is a very good question.  The risks of being severely underweight 
are different from those associated with being severely overweight.  
People who are severely underweight are at risk for a variety of 
nutritional deficiency diseases and also often have impaired immune 
systems, making them much more susceptible to infections and their 
marginal deficiencies make healing more difficult.  A classic example of 
severe underweight is people who have marasmus, or protein-energy 
malnutrition, brought about by lack of food.  These individuals are at 
much higher risk of infection and an inability to recover from those 
infections.  Severe overweight is associated with an increased risk of 
developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease.  Severely overweight 
(also called morbid obesity)people may also have a variety of other 
problems, such as joint abnormalities (from the stress placed on their 
joints from the weight)and difficulty breathing lying down (from the 
weight placed on their lungs).  Health risks of being slightly overweight 
or underweight are very individual.  As long as there are no obvious 
clinical symptoms, there probably is not much difference from a health 

Current Queue | Current Queue for General Biology | General Biology archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on General Biology.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2003. All rights reserved.