Why Black Women Should Not Measure Their Health With Their BMI

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BMIThere has been a lot of analysis and discussion surrounding Black women and their weight. First of all, for many Black women, the way they feel when they are overweight is not as negative as women of other races. Then there is the issue of Black men who often say things like “I like a woman with a little meat on her bones”. This implies that a woman is more attractive if she is fuller figured and this may encourage women to ignore the fact that they are overweight and have a high BMI.

Even though the cultural aspect of how women of color perceive their weight may cause them to think they are healthy when they are not, there are other measures of a woman’s health that are also important.

A blogger at BodyMindGreen shares why women should not measure their measure their health entirely by looking at their Body Mass Index (BMI):

You’ve probably sat and stared at the BMI chart in your doctor’s office and plotted out where you fall. And, if you’re like me, you got a knot in your gut when you saw where your fingers met as you scrolled through the rows and columns. Worse yet, your doctor most likely confirmed your fears, advising you to go on a diet to lose weight.
So how accurate is this test? BMI is a good measure in some regards; however, it really doesn’t tell you the whole picture.
Are you one of those people who are strong and physically active yet still falls under the overweight or obese area of the chart? Or, perhaps you’re thin, yet feel somewhat weak and fall under the healthy weight category? If this sounds familiar, don’t panic. BMI is not the be all, end all of our health. It’s not just our weight and height that measures health; it’s the ratio of lean mass to fat mass, something the BMI chart can’t determine. 
But, if this chart created and relied upon by physicians doesn’t give us a clear picture, what does?
The answer is simple: you need to get a body composition test. This test will tell you what percentage of your body is comprised of lean mass and what percent is fat mass.  

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