New Jersey has seen a steady rise in obesity rates. Some 26.3 percent of adult New Jerseyans are now considered obese, according to a recent study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health. That’s up from 20.3 percent in 2004 and 12.3 percent in 1995. Nevertheless, the state has the 13th-lowest adult obesity rate in the nation.
More men are overweight than women — 26.4 percent vs. 23 percent. And more blacks (34.5 percent) are overweight than Latinos (27.5 percent) or whites (24.4 percent).
The good news is the rate of childhood obesity in New Jersey has dropped, with the state ranking 50 of 51 for obesity of 10-17-year-olds, with 10 percent. The rate of obesity among high school students is 8.7 percent, ranking it 41st in the country. The bad news is that New Jersey ranks among the highest states when it comes to 2- to 4-year olds in low-income families, with a rate of 16.6 percent. That, however, is a drop from a high of 18.4 percent in 2009.