Study: Black Women Can Weigh More & Still Be Healthy

Overweight Woman Eating Healthy Meal in KitchenWhen 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.

Katzmarzyk’s findings echo a 2009 study by Dr. Samuel Dagogo-Jack of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Diabetes Association, Dagogo-Jack’s research revealed that whites had more body fat than blacks, which led him to theorize that muscle mass may be higher in African-Americans.

Existing BMI and WC guidelines are derived from studies of predominantly white and European populations and do not take into account physiological differences due to ethnicity and race. Because of this, Dagogo-Jack believes that his findings “argue for a review of the existing cutoffs for healthy BMI and waist circumference among African-Americans.”

Nick Cannon Reveals His Autoimmune Disease Battle

( — Nick Cannon is opening up about the series of health problems he’s faced over the last couple of months.

The 31-year-old has revealed that the kidney disease he was hospitalized for earlier this year was a result of an autoimmune disease, People magazine reported.

The kidney disease was caused by “autoimmune disease that [doctors] found in my system,” Cannon told People, and went on to say that the doctors told him his “autoimmune disease is — like a lupus type of thing, but no one else in my family has it.”

While Cannon didn’t explain further what his disease was, we know that autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells. There are more than 100 autoimmune diseases, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association.

Lupus in particular is when the immune system attacks the body’s tissues and organs, according to the Mayo Clinic, and is most known for the butterfly-wing-like rash that appears on the face. Symptoms of lupus are different from case to case, but common symptoms include fever, fatigue, joint pain, the facial rash, chest pain, headaches, dry eyes and skin lesions, the Mayo Clinic reported.

Cannon was hospitalized in January with what his wife Mariah Carey described as a “mild kidney failure.” Doctors say she probably meant that Cannon had something called acute kidney injury, or acute kidney failure, which is when the kidneys stop functioning properly and allow fluids, waste and electrolytes to store up in the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.

And just last month, the “America’s Got Talent” host was hospitalized again for blood clots in his lung and an enlarged heart ventricle, the New York Daily News reported. Cannon told People that the blood clots were linked with his kidney disease.

Shortly after being hospitalized for the blood clots, Cannon stepped down from his “Rollin” radio show on 92.3 NOW.

He said in a statement on the 92.3 NOW website:

Under doctor’s orders, I have been asked to put my health first and cut back on some of my professional commitments in order to allow my body to get the rest that it needs to keep up with the demands of my multi-tasking schedule.

Click on the link below to read about Black celebrities impacted by autoimmune diseases.