OAKLAND, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2014) — Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL) responded Friday to a recent report that found Asian American adults are more likely to be thinner (i.e. having a body mass index of more than 25) than other Americans.
“Analyzing body mass index (BMI) doesn’t convey the real story of the health of the Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA & NHPI) community,” APPEAL Executive Director Rod Lew said. “In addition, by examining Asian Americans as a monolithic group, the study ignores the fact that many AA & NHPIs face significant health problems stemming from obesity.”
Asian Americans are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease at a lower body mass index than other groups. The disease is one of the leading causes of death among AA & NHPIs. In 2007, it accounted for about one in four deaths among AA & NHPIs (24.4 percent).
Specific ethnic groups face elevated risks. Last year, a study by the Health and Human Service’s Office of Minority Health found that Filipinos are 70 percent more likely to be overweight than Asian Americans as a whole. Heart disease also is the leading cause of death among Filipinos, Japanese and Asian Indians in California.
Additionally, Pacific Islanders are more likely to be overweight, and Native Hawaiians die at a younger average age (65.2 for males, 72.3 for females) from cardiovascular disease compared to the general population.
APPEAL educates and advocates on behalf of AA & NHPI communities seeking to attain healthier, tobacco-free lives. Founded in 1994, APPEAL is a national organization working toward social justice and a tobacco-free Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community. www.appealforcommunities.org