Q: I've been working hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Where can I find information on body mass index for black women?
- Fat or not fat?
A: That's a very good question! A study in 2009, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Diabetes Association, found that body mass index (BMI) measurements seemed to overestimate obesity in African-Americans.
On the other hand, people of Asian and Hispanic descent may be unhealthfully overweight even though their BMI is lower than the number (25) that's generally considered overweight.
Right now there is just one BMI chart for everyone, but in the future we may see "ethnic-specific cutoffs" for the values that represent being overweight or obese, the study's author said.