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Does A 17.4 BMI Mean I'm In Danger?

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,


I took the (BMI) and it said 17.4 am I in danger? I want to be skinny because I want to have a good body and I love to be light enough that my friends and boyfriend can pick me up easily. I am also a cheerleader and I want to be light enough that they can easily put me in a mount. I haven’t had my period for 6 months does it have something to do with not eating correctly? I am also always cold and I deny being hungry. My stomach has also been hurting a lot and I can’t tell if I'm hungry or not because if I eat I feel like I’m going to puke it back up but if I don’t eat it still hurts???

Signed: Does A 17.4 BMI Mean I'm In Danger?

Dear Does A 17.4 BMI Mean I'm In Danger?,


An individual is generally considered to be underweight if their BMI is less than 18.5. Since you calculated your BMI and it came up as 17.4, TeenHealthFX recommends that you meet with your primary care physician as soon as possible to discuss your current weight and overall physical health. Being underweight can certainly negatively impact a female’s menstrual cycle, and it could also account for your stomach pains since there is a good chance you may be hungry from not be eating enough. However, it is important for you to meet with a doctor, who can meet with you in person, evaluate the situation, and assess whether some changes in your diet need to be made. Your doctor might also recommend that you meet with a mental health professional trained in dealing with eating disorders to assess whether or not emotional issues are getting in the way of your maintaining a healthy weight and healthy eating practices.


If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood.


If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 973-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area.



Signed: TeenHealthFX