All Articles Tagged "BMI"

New Study Says You Can’t Be Overweight Or Obese And Be Healthy At The Same Time

December 3rd, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

According to a new Canadian study, published today, the idea that you can be obese or overweight and healthy isn’t necessarily true, because most people aren’t thinking about their health down the line.

The study, conducted by Dr. Ravi Retnakaran of the University of Toronto used more than 61, 000 people and followed the differences found between obese or overweight people and slimmer folks when it comes to their health and the risks they might face for heart attacks, strokes and death. Following up with those individuals after a decade, “those who were overweight or obese but didn’t have high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes still had a 24 percent increased risk for heart attack, stroke and death over 10 years or more, compared with normal-weight people.”

Dr. Renakaran had this to say about his findings:

“These data suggest that increased body weight is not a benign condition, even in the absence of metabolic abnormalities, and argue against the concept of healthy obesity or benign obesity.

We found that metabolically healthy obese individuals are indeed at increased risk for death and cardiovascular events over the long term as compared with metabolically healthy normal-weight individuals.”

Of course, many people often say that just because they aren’t small in size doesn’t automatically make them unhealthy. There is some truth to that. According to David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, not all weight gain is harmful. And skinny people with metabolic health problems like high blood pressure or high cholesterol can be at even higher risk for the heart attacks, strokes and more than bigger folks. But still, both men claim it’s possible that “metabolically healthy” individuals actually just have risk factors at a lower level that can and will get worse as time passes if not controlled.

“It depends partly on genes, partly on the source of calories, partly on activity levels, partly on hormone levels. Weight gain in the lower extremities among younger women tends to be metabolically harmless; weight gain as fat in the liver can be harmful at very low levels.”

Katz went on to say that once you gain weight in your liver, that’s when you can really end up at high risk for heart attacks, strokes and death.

“In particular, fat in the liver interferes with its function and insulin sensitivity. This starts a domino effect. Insensitivity to insulin causes the pancreas to compensate by raising insulin output. Higher insulin levels affect other hormones in a cascade that causes inflammation. Fight-or-flight hormones are affected, raising blood pressure. Liver dysfunction also impairs blood cholesterol levels.”

All in all, the men say that they are all for people focusing on eating healthier and exercising rather than pushing to meet a certain weight. As Katz says, “Lifestyle practices conducive to weight control over the long term are generally conducive to better overall health as well. I favor a focus on finding health over a focus on losing weight.”

I personally don’t sit around stressing myself out over my BMI, but I know that I need to take better care of myself when it comes to what I eat in order to look out for myself (I write this as I eat Nutter Butters, but I’m heading to the gym tonight!). I might think I’m healthy now, but that doesn’t mean my own weight struggles won’t negatively impact me in the long term, but it’s all a process, right?




Black Women Don’t Benefit From Exercise As Much As White Women?

June 5th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Exercise, exercise, exercise is all you hear directed at black women these days in response to a slew of reports pointing out the obesity epidemic plaguing our demographic. But now all of a sudden, a pair of British researchers have published a paper in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, saying black girls and women don’t benefit from working out as much as white ones do.

According to the paper, for black adolescent girls, who were most physically active at age 12, by age 14, obesity was nearly as likely as it was for those whose activity rates were far lower. For white girls though, their risk of becoming obese nearly disappeared. This was true even when caloric intake was the same between the two groups.

The authors used data from a government health study database of 1,148 adolescents who were followed for several years. Just under half, 538, identified themselves as African American. The researchers believe a significant metabolic disadvantage is at play for African American girls hoping to maintain a healthy weight, concluding that “obesity-prevention interventions may need to be adapted to account for the finding that black girls are less sensitive to the effects of physical activity” than their white counterparts. The study is said to fall in line with other research that has found black women oxidize fat more slowly in response to exercise, and that their resting metabolic rates are lower than those of white women.

Before taking this study at face value, I think it’s important to point out that BMI and two other obesity measures (a measure of body fat adopted by the International Obesity Task Force and a gauge of skin-fold thickness) were the parameters used to determine that 12-year-old black girls in the top half of the physical activity continuum were only 15% less likely to be obese by age 14 than ones in the lower half. For white girls, those in the upper half were 85% less likely to become obese over the next two years than were those in the bottom half. BMI has long been a controversial indicator of health and obesity for black women so it’s important to take this finding with a grain of salt, realizing that exercise is in fact still beneficial for black women and that BMI is not the only measure of it’s positive effects on your overall health.

Linda Bacon, an associate nutritionist with UC Davis is very critical of the nation’s focus on reducing obesity, and she says activists need to focus on healthy lifestyles and not on BMI.

“We should just be encouraging activity for the sake of activity and good health. If we encourage it as a weight management technique, when it doesn’t work for that, people won’t see the value in it.”


Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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IRS Taking Every Penny From Nas’ Album Sales Until Huge Debt is Paid

March 26th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: Media Outrage

From now on Nas will have to make music just for the fun of it because he won’t see a dime of his album sales until his debt is paid to the IRS. The rapper’s delinquent tax filings have caused the government to begin garnishing his wages until his tax debt—to the tune of $6 million—is paid off.

Uncle Sam filed court documents in the state of Georgia to have music publishing organizations BMI and ASCAP send royalties earned on any of Nas’ albums directly to the government rather than the rapper’s bank account. Considering people don’t buy music the way they used to, it’s going to be a long time before Nas sees another paycheck—from his albums anyway.

SMH. What is up with celebrities thinking they don’t have to pay taxes like the rest of us?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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Beyond BMI: Why Black Women Need Fairer Measures of Health

November 21st, 2011 - By Brande Victorian
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Is the BMI Wrong For Black Women

My coworker came into the office noticeably flustered after visiting her primary care physician one day. It didn’t take much to pry what was wrong out of her — the doctor had warned her that she was in danger of becoming obese and she was outraged. The Miami-Cuban accent that came out of her was priceless as she told us how she explained to the doctor that while she had gained a bit of weight, she was still 30 pounds away from falling into the obese category and certainly didn’t appreciate his insinuation.

Being Latina, my coworker deals with many of the same body issues as black women — full thighs, wider hips, bigger butts, pudgier waists — and pressures to tone what genetics has already dictated as irreversibly thick. I’m sure the doctor’s intention was to prevent my coworker from having weight-related complications down the line, but his words had just the opposite effect. The way she saw things, if at her current weight she was almost obese, there was no way she could ever get down to an acceptably healthy size — and therefore she wouldn’t try. I think the same type of thinking rings true for many black women as well.

When you consider it, the concepts of overweight, obese, and morbidly obese are arbitrary, taking into account nothing more than height, weight, and age. These measurements have been standardized into something called the body mass index, and it is a dubious tool with deleterious effects. Documentary filmmaker Darryl Roberts (who happens to be an African-American) attacks the validity of these notions in his latest project, “America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments.” The film is a follow-up to his first award-winning documentary, which centered on the oppressive aspects of beauty in our culture such as rampant plastic surgery. In part two, he addresses dieting.

In an interview with CNN, Roberts explains that the original intention of the body mass index (BMI) was to show the average sizes of populations, not diagnose health or establish someone’s ideal weight. He adds that the current use of BMI to predict health didn’t come into play until the 1970s. When the government obliged Weight Watchers’ request to lower the BMI range for those considered overweight in 1998, the dieting powerhouse suddenly had a slew of new customers. Basically, a lot of people became “overweight” over night.

The Creator's Suite: Makeba Riddick – Hit Songwriter

September 28th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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Meet Makeba Riddick, a hit songwriter and vocal producer to the top acts in music. Riddick has worked with Beyonce, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, and Mary J. Blige to name a few. The “Déjà vu” writer dishes on her humble Baltimore beginnings, the hustle and the moxy that have taken her to the top of the Billboard charts. Find out why she believes people have a God-given right to be great and why good things come to those who work hard.


[jwplayer config=”TAP – The Classifieds” logo.file=”” logo.hide=false”” logo.linktarget=_blank logo.position=top-right acudeojw.progId=4cd4362cd4f9e acudeojw.title=”Jennifer Williams” acudeojw.descriptionUrl= acudeojw.videoId=TAPTVInterviewJenniferWilliams.flv file=” Creator’s Suite With  Makeba.mp4″ gapro.accountid=”UA-427730-14″]

The Creator’s Suite: Makeba Riddick – Hit Songwriter

September 28th, 2011 - By madamenoire
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Meet Makeba Riddick, a hit songwriter and vocal producer to the top acts in music. Riddick has worked with Beyonce, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, and Mary J. Blige to name a few. The “Déjà vu” writer dishes on her humble Baltimore beginnings, the hustle and the moxy that have taken her to the top of the Billboard charts. Find out why she believes people have a God-given right to be great and why good things come to those who work hard.

Check out this cool 24Wired interview! You’ll be inspired for sure. Good things come to those who work hard!


Signing Mr. Wright: Music Exec Refuses to Get it Wrong

July 20th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(TheLoop21) — He’s not super famous and he may not be knocking Jay-Z off of his position on the Forbes list just yet, but Byron Wright is a success story. Five years deep into his dream career the 28-year-old, is swiftly climbing to the top of the music industry’s list of “who’s who.”  Wright is the Director of Writer/Publisher Relations at Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), one of the three Performing Rights Organizations that represent songwriters, music publishers and composers. “Byron has done an exceptional job of keeping his ears to the street and building relationships with uprising songwriters/producers,” brags his boss Catherine Brewton, who serves as Vice President of his division at BMI. The Atlanta native is responsible for signing many of today’s top hip-hop artists and producers to BMI including rappers Soulja Boy, Travis Porter and CyHi Da Prynce, as well as producers Bangladesh (Lil Wayne’s “6’7’”) and Kane Beatz (Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass”).

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Gospel Greats honored at annual BMI ceremony

February 20th, 2011 - By Veronica Wells
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Broadcast Music, Inc. honored gospel legends Pastor Shirley Caesar and all-male gospel group Commissioned. Shirley Caesar, the gospel artist with 11 Grammys, sat back and relaxed as Beverly Crawford, Kim Burrell and Lucinda Moore sang some of her greatest hits. Ledisi was the last to perform, turning Caesar’s “You’re Next in Line for a Miracle” into a deeply personal tribute filled with scat and vocal runs. She thanked Caesar for encouraging her and paving the way for gospel artists. After Caesar made her way to the stage to accept her statue, the choir director told her she was supposed to sing a song. Caesar said flat out, “No, I’m the one being honored so I don’t have to sing.” But not two seconds later she said, “But I will say this…” and burst into a brief impassioned song.

Brother and sister duo, Bebe and Cece Winans were also awarded for their song “Close to You,” which was the most played gospel song of the past year.

Lastly the Detroit based gospel group, Commissioned, were serenaded by the likes of The Clark Sisters who sang “I’m Going On” and Men of Standard who performed a medley, featuring the group’s song “Running Back to You.” Lastly Marvin Sapp, a former member of Commissioned, and several other men sang “King of Glory.” Before he sang Sapp said being in the group taught him to be a man, a husband and a father. He stopped himself, saying he was about to lose it. Although Commissioned originally consisted of six members, over a dozen men graced the stage to accept their award.