Community Foundation of New Jersey

NJ Among the Top Ten Healthiest States

December 16, 2013

The holidays are upon us. By now, most of us know that today’s gingerbread will be January’s gym pass. But even if we tip the scale a bit this month, NJ still ranks as 10th healthiest state according to the United Health Foundation’s 2013 America’s Health Rankings.

In fact, NJ is giving the neighbors something to strive for: New York ranks at No. 18, Pennsylvania at No. 29 and Delaware at No. 32.

The ranking criteria looks at a number of core measures– mainly smoking, obesity, physical activity and diabetes – and the overall findings are used to improve health nationwide.

Sponsored in part by the United Health Foundation, the study aims to “inform state health priorities, influence state policies and transform state health systems”.

Among the statistics for New Jersey are residents’ broad access to primary care physicians and dentists, low overall rate of infectious disease, low rate of drug-related deaths, and the fourth lowest rate of children in poverty.

But this is no time to rest on laurels. The study also found a high rate of physical inactivity. What’s more, while Jersey ranks 8th in obesity, the prevalence of obesity and diabetes in NJ has actually increased in the past year.

Bottom line: it’s nice to be in the top 10. It’s not every day that that NJ shares list space with Utah and Colorado. But, as the New Year approaches and resolutions are made, perhaps New Jerseyans should keep a healthy lifestyle at the top of their priority list.