Obesity: Why is New Jersey So Fat?
Nearly 27 percent of New Jersey adults classify as obese. But that’s only a pleasantly plump percentage compared to those of most other states.
In the latest report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Jersey’s obesity ranked among the lowest in the nation – No. 41.
Obesity was found to be most prevalent in the 45-64 age range, followed by those aged 65 and older.
New Jersey’s rate ticked up slightly from the prior year, but, along with the rest of the nation, has skyrocketed over the past couple decades. Seventeen percent of New Jersey adults were considered obese in 2000, and 12.3 percent in 1995.
Twenty years ago, not one state had a rate above 20 percent. Today, the “healthiest” state – Colorado – is at 21.3 percent.
“We’re beginning to see a leveling off of adult rates, but at dangerously high levels,” said Rich Hamburg, TFAH’s deputy director.
Hamburg said we’re experiencing a culture of less action and more eating, plagued by a dramatic spike in caloric intake.
Statistical significant obesity rate increases were spotted in just five states for this latest report.
Rates of obesity now exceed 35 percent in three states – Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi.
Hamburg said the key to fixing the problem is focusing on healthy initiatives for kids and schools.
“It’s easier and more effective to prevent obesity than to reverse the trend decades later,” he said.