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Health Indicator Report of Obesity among High School Students in Grades 9 to 12

Obesity has more than tripled among children and adolescents since the 1970s.[ ^1^]


This is Healthy New Jersey 2020 (HNJ2020) Objective NF-1b. Survey is conducted in odd-numbered years only. Confidence limits not available for 2003 NJ data. ** 2015 and 2017 NJ survey data not available.

Data Sources

  • New Jersey Student Health Survey, Office of Student Support Services, Division of Student Services and Career Readiness, New Jersey Department of Education, []
  • High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, []

Data Interpretation Issues

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) and New Jersey Student Health Survey (NJSHS) BMI data should be used with caution since individual height and weight are self-reported. People tend to underestimate their weight and overestimate their height, resulting in a lower BMI compared to if the individual was actually weighed and measured. In 2015 and 2017, the New Jersey Student Health Survey was unable to obtain the number of student responses needed to reach the 60% response rate required by the CDC to be able to weight the data to be representative of the New Jersey high school student population.


Percent of high school students who were obese (greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for body mass index, by age and sex)


Number of high school students whose body mass index was greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for Body Mass Index (BMI) for their age and gender


Total number of high school students surveyed

Other Objectives

'''Revised Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective NF-1b''': Reduce the proportion of high school students in grades 9-12 who are obese to 7.8% for the total population, 6.5% among Whites, 8.4% among Blacks, 13.1% among Hispanics, and 2.3% among Asians. '''Original Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective NF-1b''': Prevent an increase in the proportion of high school students in grades 9-12 who are obese. Targets are 10.3% for the total population, 8.2% among Whites, 16.5% among Blacks, and 14.4% among Hispanics.

How Are We Doing?

Obesity is increasing among high school students of all races/ethnicities. Healthy New Jersey 2020 targets were not met by any group.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The proportion of New Jersey high school students who are obese is consistently lower than that of the nation as a whole.

Available Services

Page Content Updated On 10/26/2020, Published on 12/10/2020
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, 18 May 2024 14:44:07 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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