- Dyslipidemia (for example, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
- Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
Alternative health metrics for Black women
Accurate measures of excess body fat or obesity are essential for screening tests, such as for type 2 diabetes.
These three health metrics will help Black women get a better understanding of where they stand:
1. Waist circumference
The BMI can be more accurate for determining Black women’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes when it is combined with waist circumference measures.
Waist circumference measures abdominal adiposity — the excess fat around organs — and is an independent predictor of heart disease and type 2 diabetes risks, Healthline notes.
A traditional waist circumference should be less than 35 inches (88 cm) in women and less than 40 inches (102 cm) in men.
BMI-specific waist circumference recommendations are being developed across ethnic groups, which will provide more accurate health assessments for individuals such as Black women.
2. Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)
Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is also efficient in measuring abdominal obesity and a strong predictor of whether a person is at risk for metabolic and heart disease.
This measure combined with BMI can produce strong insights into patterns of your body fat storage and health risk.
An ideal WHR is less than 0.85 for women and 0.9 for men, according to the World Health Organization.
3. Body impedance analysis (BIA)
This method will provide detailed information on body composition and can also serve as a complementary measurement to BMI.
BIA can also be interchangeable with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, which is considered the gold standard for body composition measurements in popular studies.
Remember, BMI is only one factor related to risk for disease. The clinical parameters and appropriateness of your weight should be discussed with your doctor.
Dr. Felicia Wade gets to the heart of the matter; She is a physician, author and medical media contributor. Dr. Wade has appeared on CNN, Cox Radio News Talk 750 and Radio One Network to discuss Obesity and its impact on health. She delivers information on how every person when they know better can do better and can live a healthier life, one day at a time!