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Body mass index, a common measurement of obesity that compares weight to height, overestimates body fat in black people, according to a new study.

Dr. Samuel Dagogo-Jack said that a black person with the same BMI as a white person — that is, the same gender, waist size, weight and height — will usually have lower fat and abdominal fat.Dagogo-Jack and his team at the University of Tennessee used more direct measurements of body fat to see if they corresponded to what BMI seemed to indicate.He said that the finding that black people have lower body fat suggests that average muscle mass may be higher in black people.

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