A Culturally Competent Phenotypic Evaluation/Obesity Assessment in African and African American Populations: Pilot Study

  • Catrina Johnson 1 Genomics Core Facility, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901,USA; 2 Department of Plant, Soil & Ag Systems, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901, USA; 3 Center for Health, Nutrition & Biomedicine P.O. Box 1062, Park Forest, IL 60466;USA
  • Robert Corruccini 4 Department of Anthropology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901, USA
  • Motier Daniel Becque 5 Department of Kinesiology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901, USA; 6 Department of Physiology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901, USA
  • Wanki Moon 7 Department of Agribusiness,Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901, USA
  • Kolapo Ajuwon 8 Department of Animal Sciences & Nutrition, Purdue University-Elkhart, IN 49707, USA
  • David A Lightfoot 1 Genomics Core Facility, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901,USA; 2 Department of Plant, Soil & Ag Systems, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901, USA
Keywords: Keywords: African-Americans, West-Africans, physiology, obesity, BMI

Abstract

BMI, a ratio of weight over height, is a culturally-biased tool imposed upon the scientific, academic and medical communities as an errant measure of obesity across ethnicity. Body Mass Index (BMI) relates mass (g) to a relative fat distribution with regards to height. Its genesis is from the actuarially derived and ethnically exclusive height and weight tables that promote the fictional notion of inter-ethnic ideal weights that would be later adopted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a competent measure of adiposity. Best practice, movement towards individualized medicine and deployment of effective models that impact the diabetes epidemic and its related precursors like insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome, requires terminal use of BMI, a biologically meaningless and crude indicator of obesity, in favor of  effective and culturally competent non-relative body composition evaluation of genetically determined adiposity that untenably compares values among groups. African Americans are among the increasingly affected groups for diabetes and posses unique composition variation requiring proper intra-cultural evaluation independent of inter-ethnic Eurocentric assumptions that over assesses obesity risk. Incorporating use of 4C models to evaluate adiposity and assess risk for diabetic predisposition and onset provides an effective unbiased assessment of the cultural components inherent within body composition variation among ethnicity, age, gender. Obesity and type II diabetes onset and pre-disposition is assessed phenotypically, in creation of a body mass profile among African and African American groups, using 4C model, photography, anthropometry, somatotype and genetic evaluation. Environmental obeseogenic cultural factors are also explored.

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Author Biographies

Catrina Johnson, 1 Genomics Core Facility, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901,USA; 2 Department of Plant, Soil & Ag Systems, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901, USA; 3 Center for Health, Nutrition & Biomedicine P.O. Box 1062, Park Forest, IL 60466;USA

Catrina Johnson, M.S. is an Adjunct Professor of Biology and Research Scientist in Human Genetics & Plant, Soil and Ag Systems and independent researcher, CEO/Chief Scientist of the Center for Health, Nutrition & Biomedicine. She earned her B.S. in Plant & Soil Science (Biotechnology Concentration) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and an M.S. in Plant, Soil & Ag Systems (Genomics and Bioinformatics Concentration). An experienced researcher, educator, teacher trainer and curricular integration specialist at the local, state and county levels, she is a STEM Fellow with the Illinois Board of Higher Education as a part of the Diversifying Higher Education Initiative (DFI). Her work encompasses the field of plant, animal and human genetics and nutrition. Professor Johnson’s area of expertise is understanding and explaining the complexity of the gene/environment interaction Her research interests are the environmental causes and prevention of type 2 diabetes in African American populations; African American physiology, BMI, nutrition. The results have the potential to effect what is known about the genesis of type 2 diabetes among African Americans as well as expanding what is understood about the relationship of obesity, genetics and environmental impacts. Her work has the potential to not only yield benefit to the scientific and medical communities, but to represent a model approach to scientific inquiry.

 

Robert Corruccini, 4 Department of Anthropology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Dr. Robert Corruccini is the distinguished 20th and 21st century American paleoanthropologist of our time. His work encompasses medical, physical and forensic anthropology. He earned his B.A. in Anthropology and Geology at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1971, and his Ph.D. in Anthropology and Paleontology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1975. He is a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology (Emeritus) at Southern Illinois University, Smithsonian Institution Research Fellow, Human Biology Council Fellow (now the Human Biology Association) who is best known for his contributions to the theory of malocclusion and his extensive work in a slave cemetery at the Newton Plantation in Barbados.

Motier Daniel Becque, 5 Department of Kinesiology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901, USA; 6 Department of Physiology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Dr. Motier Becque is a national expert in adolescent physiology and an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His research interests are in the area of exercise, nutrition, human performance, and body composition w/ a specialization in exercise physiology and human biology.

Wanki Moon, 7 Department of Agribusiness,Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Dr. Wanki Moon is a Professor of Agribusiness Economics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Dr. Moon earned his Ph.D in Agricultural Economics from the University of Florida. His research interests include: Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Policies, Global Governance of Agricultural Trade, the global food system, political economy of agricultural trade negotiations, the multifunctionality of agriculture as a paradigm shaping a new order of global agriculture, Consumer Economics and Agricultural Biotechnology Survey Methodology

Kolapo Ajuwon, 8 Department of Animal Sciences & Nutrition, Purdue University-Elkhart, IN 49707, USA

Dr. Kolapo Aujuwon is an Associate Professor of Animal Sciences and a research biologist at Purdue University. His area of expertise is: adipose biology/nutritional physiology. Dr. Ajuwon studies obesity in pigs to identify ways to curb the condition in humans. As an animal science adipose biologist his research is focused on understanding how fat tissue develops and causes obesity-related problems, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes by studying the extracellular matrix, a sort of scaffolding, that holds cells together to understand how the proteins of that matrix affect cell growth and determine which proteins are responsible for fat cell growth. Those proteins could then be targeted as a way to control obesity.

David A Lightfoot, 1 Genomics Core Facility, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901,USA; 2 Department of Plant, Soil & Ag Systems, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Dr. David Lightfoot is a PhD in Genetics and Professor for Biotechnology and Genomics at SIUC. He is Head of the Genomic Science Facility at SIUC, a member of the National Academy of Inventors and a former Illinois Humanities Commission Road Scholar. He earned an B.Sc.(Hons) in Genetics and Development from the University of East Anglia and John Innes Institute/Sainsbury Center, Norwich England in 1981 and his Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Leeds, Leeds, England in 1985. Dr. Lightfoot works on novel gene discovery by genomics, particularly methods to decode and use the DNA sequences of chromosomes. He targets commercially valuable disease resistances, phyto-pharmaceuticals, crop yield boosting elements and latterly human genetics. His extensive publications include thousands of DNA sequences and patent rights to 4 inventions. He is a national and global research collaborator with research interests in the human gene environment interaction, the gut microbiome and anthropology.

Published
2019-07-03
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