Study: Black Women Can Weigh More & Still Be Healthy
When it comes to issues of weight, race matters. A recent study reveals African American women can weigh significantly more than white women and still be healthy.
By examining two standards of measurement — BMI (body mass index) and WC (waist circumference) — researchers found that while white women with a BMI of 30 or more and a WC of 36 inches or more were at greater risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, black women with those same numbers were considered medically healthy.
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.
Typically, health experts consider adults with a BMI of 25-29.9 to be overweight and those with a BMI of 30 or greater to be obese.
The study, published in the January 6th 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.