Professor Brian Lieberman from Manchester Fertility Services has recently highlighted the risks to a woman’s fertility by following the latest trend to become a ‘size 0’ in an attempt to mimic celebrities who are exceptionally thin.
Women with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 19 are at risk of irregular or absent periods which can result in infertility as ovulation ceases. In addition it can also lead to osteoporosis. A certain amount of body fat is required to store and produce oestrogen, essential for fertility.
This is reversible with adequate weight gain to achieve a healthy BMI of 19-25.
Women and especially young girls need to be educated about the dangers of severe dieting and learn how to eat ‘sensibly’ ensuring the correct BMI to maximise fertility.
An irrational fear of fat needs to be abolished with emphasis on eating the right fats – those obtained from nuts, seeds, oily fish, olive oil and flax seed oil.