Many of us black women have long understood that our typical body size and build is not the same as white women. I’m glad to read an article with research supporting that truth. It’s time we stop forcing ourselves into a body standard that, in many cases, is genetically impossible. Read an excerpt from the article below:
(Reuters Health) – The definition of a ‘healthy’ waistline may have a bit more wiggle room for African-American women than for white women, a new study suggests.
As it stands, men are considered to have abdominal obesity when their waistline tops 40 inches; for women, the threshold is 35 inches. Abdominal obesity, in turn, raises a person’s risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Another way to look at the weight-health question is through body mass index (BMI) — a measure of weight in relation to height. People with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered obese, and they generally have a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease than thinner people.
But in the new study, researchers found that African-American women might have somewhat higher thresholds for a risky waist size and BMI.
For the study, reported in the journal Obesity, researchers tried to estimate the BMI and waist size that best separated people at relatively high risk for diabetes and heart disease from those at lower risk.
High risk in this case meant having two or more risk factors for those diseases — such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or elevated blood sugar.
For white women and men of both races, a BMI of about 30 was the threshold — the same as the standard value. But among black women, it was 33.
The same pattern was seen when it came to waist size. For men and white women, the waistline thresholds in this study were close to the 40-inch and 35-inch standards, respectively.
Among African-American women, however, the “high-risk” waistline was slightly more than 38 inches — 3 inches larger than the standard threshold.
That suggests that the average black woman can be heavier than her white counterpart before her risk for heart disease and diabetes start to climb dramatically.
Read the rest of the article HERE.