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Is The BMI Chart Culturally Accurate?


Photo Credit: Bodynomics (www.bodynomics.com)

In recent days it appears that as a community we are becoming more concerned about our health and fitness. One of the best things that I am hearing from people new to the workout scene and veterans is, “I am not looking to be skinny, I just want to be healthy”. That has been my mantra for years but until recently it really hindered me personally. I suffered from body image issues because growing up I was always slender and a nice think physique. Getting older and less active I got to my current weight which is the highest I have ever been. So when I walk around I feel small but it took some recent pictures to let me know that was not the case anymore.

Moving forward one of the things that I hear many people especially Black women debating is that appropriate weight just is too small and the BMI chart has just about everyone feeling FAT and on the way to some type of eating disorder. In a recent post on Buffie Carruth’s (also known as Buffie the Body) website Bodynomics, she talks of a recent study that deduces that due to the difference in the way Black women and White women carry their weight.

“In fact, African-American women’s risk factors did not increase until they reached a BMI of 33 or more and a WC of 38 inches or more.”

“The study, published in the January 6, 2011 research journal Obesity and authored by Peter Katzmarzyk and others at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, only examined white and African-American women. There was no similar racial difference between black men and white men. Katmzarzyk theorizes that the weight gap between white and black women may have to do with how body fat is distributed differently throughout the body. What many call “belly fat” is largely recognized as being a significantly greater health risk than fat in the hips and thighs.”

So ladies be encouraged that the assets that we love are not hindering us from being healthy. Push forward in your workouts! As soon as I get rid of this belly you won’t be able to tell me anything! 😉

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