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Obesity and Overweight

A person whose weight is higher than what is considered as a normal weight adjusted for height is described as being overweight or having obesity.1 Body Mass Index (BMI) is the weight-to-height ratio most commonly used to estimate and screen for overweight and obesity. Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 or higher; obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher.

1. Overweight and Obesity Statistics. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. July 2017.
Staying in control of your weight contributes to good health now and as you age. Individuals who are at a healthy weight are less likely to:
  • Develop chronic disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and dyslipidemia.
  • Develop chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and some cancers.
  • Experience complications during pregnancy.
  • Die at an earlier age.2

2. Nutrition and Weight Status Overview. Healthy People 2020. 2/9/18.
During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high. More than one-third of U.S. adults3 and approximately 17% of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years4 are obese.

3. Adult Obesity Facts. 8/29/17.
4. Childhood Obesity Facts. 4/10/17.
Weight status is tracked at the national and state levels primarily through two surveys:

National information is also tracked through the National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), CDC/NCHS.

New Jersey Department of Health

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 22 September 2018 5:21:52 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 4 Sep 2018 05:00:58 EDT