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?