Anorexia nervosa, commonly referred to as anorexia, is an eating disorder characterized by low body weight, a distortion of the perception of body image, and an obsessive fear of gaining weight. The disorder primarily affects adolescent females (aged 16-26) and is far less prevalent in males – only approximately 10% of those diagnosed with anorexia are male. Individuals with anorexia tend to control body weight through methods such as voluntary starvation, excessive exercise, or other weight control measures including the use of diet pills or diuretics.
There is no single test that can be used to diagnose anorexia, and it is often present in conjunction with other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Physical exams, mental health assessments, blood tests, as well as standardized indexes like the body mass index (BMI) are typically used to diagnose anorexia nervosa.
As previously mentioned, the diagnosis of anorexia often requires multiple approaches, one of which is provided by the BMI Calculator. That being said, a BMI below 17.5 in adults is one of the common physical characteristics used to diagnose anorexia. There are also different tiers of anorexia based on BMI ranging from mild (<17.5), moderate (16-16.99), and severe (15-15.99), to extreme (<15). A BMI below 13.5 can lead to organ failure, while a BMI below 12 can be life threatening. Note however that BMI alone is not enough to make a diagnosis of anorexia and is solely a possible indicator.
Your calculated BMI does not suggest anorexia nervosa.
Healthy BMI range: 18.5 – 25 kg/m2
The result above is not a diagnosis
Low BMI or body weight is just one physical feature for anorexia. Not all low BMI or body weight is related to anorexia. More information about anorexia is available at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorexia_nervosa.