BMI: Is This Scale Broken For Black Women?

Black America Web

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to most adult men and women. It does not measure body fat directly. BMI is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening to identify possible weight problems for adults. Epidemiologists use BMI to calculate national obesity rates.

A British Journal of Nutrition published a study that found the BMI formulawhich is widely used to determine body fat, may not be accurate for non-Caucasian, multicultural populations. The current BMI categories state:

Underweight = <18.5

Normal weight = 18.5–24.9

Overweight = 25–29.9

Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

“This scale was created years ago and is based on Caucasian men and women. It doesn’t take into account differences in body composition between genders, race/ethnicity groups and across the life span,” says Molly Bray, an associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of…

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