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September 22, 2015

Everyone knows you can lose weight with diet and exercise, but those pounds are notoriously hard to take off -- and even tougher to keep off. New Jerseyans are no exception to this rule: almost 27 percent of adult residents are obese, according to “The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America,” a new report from The Trust for America’s Heath and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The NIH defines obesity as a body-mass index of 30 and above. (A BMI of 30 is about 30 pounds overweight.)

Hard as it may be to believe, there’s some good news in the report. New Jersey is now ranked 41st among all states and the District of Columbia according to its adult obesity rate -- down two spots from 39th a year ago (using 2014 data).

But most of the findings are disquieting. Blacks who live in the state have the highest obesity rate (36.7 percent), followed by Latinos (28.8 percent), and whites (25.4 percent). Adult men tend more toward obesity than adult women (26.4 percent vs. 23 percent) -- according to data from 2012. And obesity is highest among men and women in the 45-64 age cohort: 31 percent.

Arkansas had the highest adult obesity rate at 35.9 percent; Colorado had the lowest at 21.3 percent. The report also indicates that adult obesity rates while high have remained relatively stable.

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