FIGURE 2-6 The various descriptors of the degree of obesity apply to individuals aged 35 and older and are associated with particular BMIs (mild obesity at a BMI of approximately 27, moderate obesity at 30, severe obesity at 35, and very severe obesity at approximately 40 or more). Approximately 41.3 percent of the population has a BMI of <25. Obesity may or may not be associated with one or more comorbidities except at the stage of severe obesity and beyond, when at least one comorbidity is almost always present. Younger adults are more likely to have no comorbidities (except for psychosocial ones) associated with their obesity. However, obese persons are at increased risk for developing comorbidities, especially over time as they get older.

prevalence declined to 23.4 percent. This decline was evident among both men and women, in all age groups, among non-Hispanic whites and African-Americans, but not among Mexican-Americans (NCHS, 1994). A similar trend has been found for blood cholesterol concentrations. In 1971–1974, 27.2 percent of the U.S. population 20-74 years of age (age adjusted) had cholesterol concentrations ≥ 240 mg/dl, decreasing to 19.7

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