NJ 11th Healthiest State In Nation [AUDIO]
How healthy are we as a state? America's Health Rankings is out with its 2011 report on the nation's health and New Jersey is improving.
The Garden State has made significant progress in moving up on the list, from 17th last year to the 11th healthiest state in the nation.
Dr. Reed Tuckson, spokesman for the United Health Foundation, which helped compile the rankings, says a major reason for the state's climb is the number of people who quit smoking. "As of this year there are 87,000 fewer smokers in New Jersey, that is a big turnaround."
However, we are getting fatter as a state. Obesity rates have increased 6 percent. "In the past ten years obesity has increased to 24.8 percent of the population, with nearly 1.7 million obese adults in the state."
Tuckson says New Jersey's strengths are our high rate of high school graduation and low percentage of children in poverty.
But challenges remain, including a low use of early prenatal care and low immunization coverage. "New Jersey is 45th in the nation in terms of early prenatal care."
With its lack of violent crime and low rate of infectious disease, Vermont is once again the healthiest state, while Mississippi is the unhealthiest, a spot its held for a decade.
How does New Jersey stack up against other states? Get the full report here.