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Is BMI a Fair Health Metric for Black Women?

Body mass index (BMI) is an estimate of body fat. It’s calculated using a statistical ratio of weight to height and applied based on your sex assigned at birth (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).

Developed over a century ago by Adolphe Quetelet, BMI has been an important measurement to characterize obesity at the public health level (3Trusted Source).

More recently, however, it’s been challenged for its discrepancies. BMI may misclassify rates of overweight and obesity in historically marginalized ethnic populations, particularly Black women.

This article discusses the history of the BMI, whether it discriminates against Black women, and other metrics that Black women can use to gain insights into their health.

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