Author Affiliations: Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge (Dr Ryan); and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois (Dr Kushner).
Class II obesity (body mass index [BMI] >35) and class III obesity (BMI ≥40) is a prevalent condition that adversely affects health. According to the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-2008), the prevalence of class II and III obesity was 14.3% of the US population 20 years or older.1 Women have a higher prevalence (17.8%) than men (10.7%) and non-Hispanic blacks have a higher prevalence (21.9%) than non-Hispanic whites (13.6%), with non-Hispanic black women having the highest prevalence reported (27.9%). Even though the overall rates of increase for obesity (proportion of the population with BMI >30) may have slowed in the last decade,1 the population distribution among men and women in the United States clearly indicates that class II and III obesity is a problem to be reckoned with, especially in women.
Ryan DH, Kushner R. The State of Obesity and Obesity Research. JAMA. 2010;304(16):1835-1836. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1531