If you’re overweight and a heavy smoker, and live in New Jersey, there’s a good chance you live in Cumberland County.

If you’re a heavy drinker, however, you’re more likely to live in Central Jersey.

New health stats are out, courtesy of the University Wisconsin Population Health Institute’s annual County Health rankings. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also contributes to the report.

As reported by MyCentralJersey.com, 39% of Cumberland County's residents are obese based on 2021 Body Mass Index (BMI) data. Nationally, 34% of Americans are considered obese; New Jersey’s statewide stats are better: 28% of us are obese.

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The thinnest, or least obese people in New Jersey, live in Mercer (24%), Morris (25%), and Somerset (25%) Counties.

When it comes to excessive drinking, we in New Jersey are slightly better than the national average: 17% vs. 18%. The counties in the state that have the highest concentration of heavy drinkers are Hunterdon and Sussex (20%) and Morris (19%). Apparently heavy drinking isn’t bad for lifespan, because the longest life expectancy in New Jersey is Hunterdon at 82.9 years.


Middlesex and Essex have the lowest percentage of heavy drinkers.

When it comes to smoking, the national rate is 15%; in Cumberland County, that number is 19%. Conversely, the lowest smoking rate is found in Somerset County, where only 10% smoke.

More bad news for Cumberland County: they have the highest incidence of chlamydia (693 per 100,000 people) while Hunterdon has the lowest (121).

The report is really a treasure trove of data, broken down to the county level; pore over more stats here.

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

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