Facing a serious obesity crisis, New Jersey has formed a new agency to help combat the problem. Linda A. Johnson of the Associated Press reports:
The Garden State has the highest percentage of overweight and obese children under age 5, at 17.7 percent, according to a 2004 survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New Jersey also has many black and Latino youth, who are more likely to be overweight than white kids.
Dr. Fred M. Jacobs, commissioner of the state Department of Health and Senior Services, said young people are a crucial target for the new agency because it's easier to instill good diet and exercise habits to prevent obesity in young people than it is to reverse weight problems in adults; adults almost always gain back any weight they lose — and then some.