It may be hard to believe if you’ve watched the number on your bathroom scale creep up since the start of the pandemic, but there are individuals whose body weight is lower than what’s considered healthy for their height.
If you’re an older adult, that could potentially mean having less of a reserve to fall back on if you develop an acute infection, or another illness that quashes your appetite.
Loss of appetite can also be due to a number of health conditions, including depression, diabetes, and thyroid disease.
Consequently, if you have a hard time keeping weight on, or food has lost its appeal, it’s worth raising the issue with your family physician.
But let’s say your primary care provider has ruled out such health problems. Is there a healthy way to gain weight?
My heartfelt thanks to the interviewees who so generously shared their time and expertise:
- Marg Alfieri, a registered dietitian and associate professor in the department of family medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.
- Dr. Heather Keller, PhD, professor of kinesiology at the University of Waterloo (Ont.) and Shlegel Research Chair in Nutrition and Aging with the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging.