New Jersey adolescents (age 10-17) land pretty much in the middle of the pack when it comes to national obesity rates, according to a study released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

As reported on, we rank 22nd in the country with 15% of the 10-17 year olds being considered obese which is just a hair under the national average of 15.3%. The report notes that obesity rates are higher for minority children: for Hispanic youth, the rate is 19% and for African-Americans it is 22.2%; 11.8% of White children are obese and Asian kids are at 7.3%. There’s also a very strong correlation to income; children in families below the poverty level have a 21.9% obesity rate, while children in families that make four times the poverty level are at 9.4%.

Access to fresh, nutritious food is one of the main factors in the disparity, according to the report. I guess it’s no surprise that the state with the highest youth obesity rate is Mississippi, since they seem to be #1 in everything that’s bad; they’re rate is 25.4%, while Utah is the best at 8.7%. For adults in New Jersey, the obesity rate is 25.7%, and while that seems high, it is actually the fourth lowest in the US.

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