BMI: Is This Scale Broken For Black Women?

woman holding scaleBody 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:

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Underweight = <18.5