Posted on January 16, 2014

Report: Thinner Doesn’t Mean Healthy for Asian-Americans

Melissa Dahl, NBC News, January 15, 2014

Asian-Americans tend to be skinnier than white, black or Hispanic Americans, but that doesn’t necessarily equal healthy, new national data reminds. People of Asian descent still struggle with health issues associated with being overweight, like hypertension and high cholesterol.

The report found that Asian-Americans do tend to be thin: About 38 percent of Americans of Asian descent are overweight, meaning they have a BMI, or body mass index, higher than 25. Compare that to 66 percent of white Americans, 76 percent of black Americans and nearly 80 percent of Hispanic Americans. {snip}

But Asian adults were about equally as likely to have high blood pressure as white adults, and the rate of high cholesterol among Asian-Americans was about the same as it was among white, black or Hispanic adults in the U.S.

That’s because BMI doesn’t tell the whole story. “At a given BMI,” the authors write, “Asian adults may have more body fat than white adults.”

It’s the first time Asian-Americans have been included in this national data looking at the hypertension, high cholesterol and high body mass index of U.S. adults. {snip}