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Study says 26 percent of New Jersey adults are obese

Adults in New Jersey are getting bigger. An annual study proves it.

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According to the project from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Jersey was one of six states that experienced a jump in the obesity rate among adults between 2012 and 2013.

More than 26 percent of New Jersey adults are statistically obese, with a body mass index of 30 or above, the report stated.

“That’s a significant number of people,” said Dr. John Lumpkin, RWJF senior vice president. “We have a lot of work to do.”

New Jersey’s rate jumped nearly 2 percent over the one-year period, knocking it out of the 10 best states. Still, 38 states have a greater obesity rate than New Jersey.

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For the first time in the study’s history, two states — Mississippi and West Virginia — registered an adult obesity rate over 35 percent. They were joined by another 18 states, including Pennsylvania, with a rate of at least 30 percent.

Lumpkin cited a “growing obesity epidemic” in communities nationwide. This year’s best score, 21.3 percent in Colorado, is still higher than the worst score 20 years ago.

As possible solutions to the problem, the study pointed to better access to fresh fruits and vegetables, an increased number of parks and bike lanes, labeling menus with calorie counts and a push toward more physical activity.

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