Hardgainers Fighting the Hard Fight
> 2/2/2006 2:03:05 PM

I couldn't help but smirk at this story from today's New York Times.  In it writer Stephanie Cooperman looks at the struggles of an often overlooked group of weight challenged folks: the chronically underweight. 

This group, comprised almost exclusively of men (go figure), faces public ridicule and low self-esteem for being too thin.  As Cooperman mentions, it's hard to feel too sorry for these guys, with so many Americans battling the exact opposite affliction, but nevertheless these underweight individuals have a pretty steep hill to climb.  In a lot of cases they spend long hours in the gym, and consume massive calorie loads only to see their own bodies sabotage their efforts. 

This is an interesting side note to the long running dialogue about weight, dieting and health that we've been having here at Anxiety, Addiction and Depression Treatments.  As some of the evidence in the article shows, being underweight, as roughly 2% of Americans are, can have an effect on our mental health.  Beyond that, bulking up, if done incorrectly can be very bad for your health.  But if you do face this problem, let me be the first say, smile.  There's no reason to feel bad about topping off a couple Big Macs with a large shake.  Just don't make it a habit.

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