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Editorial: Making progress on childhood obesity in New Jersey

November 5, 2012 | Community News

Originally published in The Times of Trenton on

The drumbeat of dire statistics associated with childhood obesity continues to sound from health professionals.

As the steady warnings continue, there can be no doubt that we’re hearing them. Heeding them, however, is another story.

Since the early ‘80s, the problem has more than tripled. Because overweight children tend to become obese adults and the health issues associated with childhood obesity can be chronic, it’s an issue with long-range as well as immediate consequences.

In New Jersey, the most at-risk children may be in Trenton. According to a 2010 New Jersey Childhood Obesity Study, Trenton children were more likely to be overweight or obese compared with their counterparts around the country. The rates are highest among Hispanic children.

Most alarmingly, the largest differences between Trenton public schoolchildren and national estimates were among the youngest children — 49 percent in Trenton were overweight or obese versus 21 percent nationally.

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