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Can a human have a BMI of 12?

Can a human have a BMI of 12?

A BMI of 12 is so low that it’s hard to explain it in words. If you saw a picture of a BMI 12 individual, you’d be truly shocked at their extreme, life-threatening thinness.

The reality is that many people simply can’t reach a body mass index as low as BMI 12 because the human body can’t support life at such a low body weight.

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Is it possible to have a BMI of 12?

A thin woman who has a 12 BMI

While it is technically possible for a person to have a BMI of 12 if they have an extremely low body weight, this isn’t the case for everyone.

Females can typically reach BMIs that are a few points lower than those of males. Yet, anyone who has a 12 BMI is extremely ill and may not live for much longer.

Indeed, there have been fatalities at higher body mass indexes (13-14) than BMI 12, meaning that a 12 BMI really is about as low as it gets.

Anyone with a 12 BMI or even a 12.6 BMI would be extremely malnourished and, I would hope, would be receiving medical treatment in an attempt to stabilize their body weight.

Why is a BMI of 12 so dangerous?

A anorexic woman who has a BMI of 12

Put simply, a BMI of 12 is dangerous because it’s life-threateningly low. Many people wouldn’t actually be able to reach a body mass index of 12 because their bodies would shut down before their body weight got low enough.

Obviously, people should seek professional help well before their BMI gets down to 12 or anywhere close to it.

Even if your BMI is only slightly underweight, you should talk to your doctor, even if you don’t have an eating disorder, because a low BMI can sometimes be the result of an underlying health problem.

What hope is there for BMI 12 individuals?

A skinny woman who wishes she had a BMI of 12

It’s likely that someone with a BMI of 12 is in grave danger of losing their life because someone who is that malnourished is probably on a downward spiral.

A BMI 12 individual requires immediate medical attention. Indeed, with the right care at the right time, more people’s lives can be saved by preventing their BMI from dropping to a dangerously low level in the first place.

The more that an underweight person weighs, the more hope they have because the easier and quicker it will be to stabilize their body weight.


For most people, reaching a BMI of 12 is likely not possible and, if it is, would only be reached in their final days after a long period of starvation.

Of course, nobody should attempt to reach a BMI of 12 or anything close to it. After all, you could increase a 12 BMI by 50%, and it would still be considered underweight.

So please, if you’re suffering from an eating disorder or body image issues, get the professional help that you need now before your situation deteriorates into one that might not be able to be reversed.