• BMI For Black People: What Should African American’s Weigh?


    By Cecelia Rogers

    We’re all the same color on the inside, but our bodies are not the same. For decades black people have had their weight evaluated based on the same scale as white people. That has given the impression that black people are generally fatter than whites. That is not true.

    Black’s may be bigger, but they don’t necessarily carry more fat. Many studies have been done that shows black people are denser and more muscular, meaning BMI charts for black people should be set higher.

    BMI or Body Mass Index measures the proportion of weight to height. This number is used when determining what a healthy weight is.

    Dr. Samuel Dagogo of the University of Tennessee compared BMI, gender, waist size, and height and found that black people could weigh more and have a higher BMI and still have less belly fat. His tests also concluded that muscle mass in black people may be higher.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services points out that Blacks have less ‘bad fat’ than whites. “Blacks tend to carry around less of a particularly unhealthy type of abdominal fat than whites, even though they suffer more from obesity-linked illness, researchers report” say the report. Normally, a person with a 30 BMI is obese and a person with a 23 BMI is overweight. There are no official BMI numbers for black to use as a guideline. The medical establishment is probably hesitant to raise the numbers as it could give people a green light to eat more.

    Still black people should consult their doctors to determine their body build and muscle mass to get a more accurate healthy weight range for them.

    Meanwhile, blacks still experience more fat related disease and than whites because of the sheer number of overweight black people. By giving blacks correct BMI information at a young age, perhaps this would prevent starvation diets by healthy young people who’s numbers don’t fit the standard. By preventing the wieght loss and gain spiral, perhaps less blacks would end up seriously overwieght to begin with.

    It would also bring down the cost of health insurance for black people as weight is considered a factor in the price of health insurance policies.

    Studies also show that the BMI of Asians should be set lower than the BMI of whites due to increased diabetes risks and petite body weight.

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