Should I, your non-average American, be following the "average" info out there?
I am an Asian-American and according to the United States statistics, I am a minority in this nation. And a woman nonetheless. The U.S. has health stats and figures (and websites!) that differ for women from a minority group so should I be looking up health info for an Asian-American woman rather than follow all the "average" weight/BMI/RMR/calorie intake/body fat % stats we usually go by?
I've always wondered that but I ask now because I've been going at this for over a year and half now and although I've lost a lot of weight following the "average" info, I've come to a point where my progress has stalled. I know I've had an off week here or there, but to date, I haven't lost ANY weight since the beginning of the year. Also, according to my monthly 4-point caliper readings done by two personal trainers at my gym, I'm 34% body fat. It's not that I'm in denial or don't believe I still have fat to lose (I KNOW I do!), but when I look at other women with a body fat % of about 30%, I don't think my body composition is anything like theirs.
I'm no scientists or health care professional, but it would seem that my stats would differ slightly than what the average - dare I say it, Caucasian - woman's stats are.
(I don't want to offend anyone but I'm not sure what the politically correct term is for the majority of people in the U.S. I've seen white ethnic American or European American, but Caucasian seems to be the most common so I'll stick to that. Again, I don't mean to offend anyone.)
The best analogy I can think of, which may not be a good analogy at all, are dogs - or any type of animal. We know dog breeds range from sizes to different body compositions, which is why each breed has different feeding requirements/amount of exercise/health stats. They're still all dogs in the general sense, but each breed is different. Couldn't that be the same for each race? I mean if the average Asian woman only grows to 5'2" but the average Caucasian woman is 5'5" why do we follow the same guidelines? Three inches may not be a huge difference, but I'm 5'0" so you're talking about a 5 inch difference from the "average". According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), all 5-feet of me is overweight with a BMI of 26.4. Add 5 inches to me and 5'5" me has a normal BMI of 22.5... that's a big difference.
I haven't done too much research into this, but from what I've been reading on the World Health Organization site, different countries/races have different BMI guidelines. INTERESTING!
Here's a chart I found for an adjusted BMI for Asian-Americans. For me, that's a 10-lbs. difference from the "average" BMI:
I'm still trying to find the credibility of these numbers but good to know I might be on to something.
And don't worry, I'm not caught up in BMI numbers cause I know they don't reflect body composition, BMI was the only example I could find differences in for minority/majority groups in America. But if BMI can be different, then maybe calorie intake, body fat % measurments, and other health stats could be different for the non-average American.
If anyone else has info or know of any good sites, PLEASE let me know.