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Table 1 Fat mass and adipose tissue distribution

From: Chronic stress, epigenetics, and adipose tissue metabolism in the obese state

Reference Gender Age Race BMI Main findings
[22] Both 8–19 Mexican American
Non-Hispanic black
Non-Hispanic white
21.8 ± 0.14
22.1 ± 0.15
Overall prevalence of adiposity is positively associated with BMI in children and adolescents
Prevalence of high BMI (≥ 95 percentile of BMI-for-age) and high adiposity (≥ 80th percentile of percentage body fat) are higher in Mexican–American than non-Hispanics boys, whereas high BMI has higher prevalence in non-Hispanic black girls
Prevalence of high adiposity in all BMI groups are lowest in non-Hispanic black boys and girls
Body fat (%) is lower in non-Hispanic blacks than Mexican-Americans, but BMI is lower in non-Hispanic black boys while higher in girls than Mexican–American counterparts
[23] Both ≥ 20 Hispanic
Mexican American
Non-Hispanic black
Non-Hispanic white
≥ 25 No overall difference in the prevalence of obesity between males and females
Non-Hispanic black women have the highest prevalence of obesity than women in other ethnic groups
Prevalence of severe obesity (BMI > 35) is higher in non-Hispanic blacks than whites in both sexes
Whites have relatively higher fat mass than blacks at a fixed BMI
[25] Both 53.5 ± 13.9 Caucasian descent 27.8 ± 4.9 In both males and females, those without metabolic syndrome have lower BMI, body fat (%), waist circumferences, waist to hip ratios, fasting plasma insulin and glucose levels, plasma triglyceride and uric acid levels, as well as systolic blood pressure together with higher HDL than those with metabolic syndrome
Body fat (%) is positively correlated with age, BMI, waist circumference and waist to hip ratio, while negatively correlated with height
Overall body fat (%) is higher in overweight/obese females than males, whereas waist circumference is higher in age-matched males
[26] Both ≥ 8 Mexican American
Non-Hispanic black
Non-Hispanic white
All rangesb Females have higher absolute and relative fat mass than males at all ages
Trunk and extremity fat (%) are lower in males than females at all ages in all ethnic groups, and lower in adolescence then increased in adulthood in males whereas both increased to 79 years of age in females
Extremity fat (%) reduction is lower and increase is higher in males in the ≤ 50 th percentile than > 50 th percentile from all ethnic groups, whereas for trunk fat (%), this is only in Mexican-Americans
Trunk and extremity fats (%) have higher increase in females in the ≤ 50 th percentile than > 50 th percentile from all ethnic groups
[27] Both 30–65 Aboriginal
South Asian
(living in Canada)
≥ 18.5 Body fat (%) is higher in Aboriginals and South Asians than Europeans
vWAT and sWAT are lower in Europeans than in Chinese and South Asians
[28] Both Middle agedc N/A Not specifiedc Females have greater amount and more active BAT than males
BAT activity is greater in young than older adults and in people with lower BMI and fasting glucose levels
[29] Both Male:
35.8 ± 9.0
38.8 ± 8.8
N/A Male:
23.8 ± 2.6
21.1 ± 2.3
Under cold exposure, younger subjects have higher BAT activity than older ones, and BAT activity is mainly found in supraclavicular and paraspinal regions
BAT activity is inversely related to BMI, vWAT and total fat mass
[30] Both 39.2 ± 8.1 N/A 42.1 ± 3.8 Obese individuals have reduced cold-induced thermogenesis and BAT activity
[31] Male Lean:
22.5 ± 4.9
28.8 ± 4.7
N/A Lean:
23.2 ± 1.9
34.8 ± 3.3
Obese males have less BAT activity than lean males, but more potential to achieve BAT expansion upon cold exposure
BAT is highly concentrated in cervical, supraclavicular, axillary, mediastinal, paraspinal, and abdominal regions
  1. aBMI was calculated as [body weight (kg)/height2 (m2)] as in adults, but adiposity was described as “percentiles of BMI-for-age” from the CDC growth charts
  2. bDistribution of BMI and the prevalence of obesity was determined within each age group
  3. cAverage age and BMI were calculated within BAT positive versus BAT negative groups, not given for the sampling population