To BMI or not to BMI—

To BMI or not to BMI—What the issues are

The calculation of Body Mass Index (BMI) is an important measurement  tool for determining relative disease risk for preventable conditions  like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. These conditions  may be controlled and/or prevented by maintaining a healthy weight  relative to height. For instance, the higher the BMI number above the  normal range (18-25), the greater the degree of overweight.

National indicators for obesity, as determined by the BMI report that  women are more likely to have higher BMI’s in comparison to men. In  addition, minority women including African Americans, Hispanics, and  Asian Americans are more likely to have a higher BMI in comparison to  white women. However, recent research suggests that current standards  for measuring BMI may not be accurate for African American women. Read  the article “Ethnic-Specific BMI and Waist Circumference Thresholds” and  create a 4- to 5-page report in Microsoft Word document that covers the  following:

  • Explain why the current BMI scale may not be an accurate measure of obesity for African American women.
  • How can these findings impact the manner in which physicians  communicate with their female patients about weight loss and disease  prevention? In your explanation, be sure to describe at least one  positive and one negative implication that these findings might have on  how physicians counsel their female patients regarding weight-loss.
  • What influence might these findings have on societal perceptions of body image and weight loss?
  • Explain how an accurate perception of body image is associated with appropriate weight-control behavior.
  • What social and cultural factors influence African American women’s risk of becoming obese?
  • What role do the media play in promoting healthy eating behaviors in women and girls?
  • What can be the implications for healthcare policy as a result of the findings of the study?
 

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