TABLE 2-1 Distribution of BMI (World Health Organization categories) from 1976 to 2004 Among U.S. Nonpregnant Women 12 to 44 Years of Age by Race or Ethnicity and Age (percentage)

 

1976-1980

1988-1994

1999-2004

Total (%)

Underweight

6.0

4.4

3.5

Normal weight

62.1

53.4

41.1

Overweight

18.8

20.8

25.3

Class I obese

7.9

12.2

15.8

Class II obese

3.5

6.0

7.7

Class III obese

1.7

3.4

6.5

By Race or Ethnicity

Non-Hispanic white (%)

 

 

 

Underweight

6.3

4.7

4.3

Normal weight

64.2

58.3

46.4

Overweight

17.9

18.4

23.3

Class I obese

7.2

10.5

13.8

Class II obese

2.9

5.3

6.9

Class III obese

1.5

2.8

5.3

Non-Hispanic black (%)

 

 

 

Underweight

3.9

2.7

a

Normal weight

47.8

37.3

23.4

Overweight

24.4

27.7

25.7

Class I obese

13.3

15.8

23.7

Class II obese

7.3

9.7

12.2

Class III obese

a

6.8

13.3

obesity among American women of childbearing age (Flegal et al., 1998; Mokdad et al., 1999; IOM, 2005; Kim et al., 2007). The prevalence of obesity in women 12 to 44 years of age has more than doubled since 1976 (Table 2-1). Data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in 1999-2004 showed that nearly two-thirds of women of child-bearing age were classified as overweight (as defined by BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2), and almost one-third were obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) (personal communication, A. Branum, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], December 2008). Obesity is far more common among racial or ethnic minority groups and increases in prevalence with advancing age.



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