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Less Than Zero

Posted Feb 06 2013 5:28pm

I tuned in to the Golden Globes tonight and I’m sure that I was like so many of us who enjoy watching the Hollywood elite work the red carpet. I love to see what everyone’s wearing, how their hair is styled and what jewelry they’re sporting. They look so handsome and beautiful. How awesome it would be to wear one of those stunning dresses, have my hair and make-up be expertly done and walk without tripping in those incredibly high heel shoes. And even better to have millions of people see me in this enviable state! I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has that daydream.

But I also think about other things as I’m watching the actor parade. And what I find very interesting is what celebrities say in their interviews and onstage. I’m particularly keen on listening to their comments about what they eat, or in many cases what they don’t eat. Many of them talk about what they go through from a dietary standpoint to fit into their finery and look good on camera. And it appears that some may not eat balanced, healthy diets or adequate calories.

The entertainment business can be a tough one in so many ways. And one of these is with regard to weight. It’s an industry where you almost can’t be too thin and where negative sizes, ones that are less than 0 actually exist. What health professionals consider a healthy weight can be considered practically obese in this world. Many actors are quite thin. Can we be too thin? The answer is yes. Carrying too little (or too much) weight on our frames isn’t ideal. Being underweight can increase your risk of osteoporosis, anemia, infections, low muscle mass, hair loss, amenorrhea, fertility issues, pregnancy complications, impaired intake of important nutrients, and more.

One method of determining if you are at a healthy weight is to calculate your body mass index (BMI). BMI is based on a height/weight ratio. A healthy BMI range is 18.5 to 24.9. You don’t want to go below or above it. If you don’t know what your BMI is there are many BMI calculators online. If you have a calculator handy, here’s the formula. Take your weight in pounds (ex. 125) and divide it by your height in inches squared. For example, if you’re 5 feet tall (60 inches), you would multiply 60 x 60 for a total of 3600. You would then divide 125 by 3600. Then take the number you get (in this example it’s .035) and multiply that by 703. In this case, the BMI is 24.4. This is considered a healthy weight. If your BMI is above 24.9 you might consider losing weight. If it’s below 18.5, speak with your doctor and/or dietitian, but gaining some weight wouldn’t be a bad idea. At the hospital where I work if a patient’s BMI is too low, we check to make sure that he or she isn’t suffering from malnutrition.

BMI is just one of several weight indicators, but it’s commonly used. It’s not the best tool for very muscular people like body builders, but for most it’s a good guide. So if you don’t know what your BMI is, why not determine it? Knowledge, after all, is power.

Less than zero isn’t ideal. Aim for a healthy weight. You’ll likely be that much better off for it.

 

Source: Today’s Dietitian

Visit Lisa Tillinger Johansen at her web site www.fastfoodvindication.com, on Facebook at Lisa Tillinger Johansen and on Twitter @LisaTJohansen.

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