The adult obesity rate in New Jersey is 27.4 percent, the 14th lowest in the nation, according to the 14th annual “State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America” report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). But adult obesity rates in the Garden State — and elsewhere — continue to climb, albeit very slowly. In 2015, New Jersey’s adult obesity rate was 26.9 percent; in 2011, it was 23.7 percent.
What’s more, the good news is not unalloyed: Adult obesity rates have striking racial and ethnic inequities — with rates above 40 percent for blacks in 15 states, and at or above 35 percent among Latinos in nine states compared with rates above 35 percent among whites in one state. New Jersey’s adult obesity rate is 37.2 percent for blacks, 31.4 percent for Latinos, and 25.4 percent for whites.
West Virginia had the highest rate of adult obesity (37.7 percent); Colorado, the lowest (22.3 percent).
Obese individuals are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer, dementia, and a number of other health issues. Children who are overweight or obese are at greater risk for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. And the longer children are overweight or obese, the more likely they are to remain so into adulthood.