Camden County slips in NJ health rankings; Hunterdon excels

Obesity and poverty were among the factors that pushed Camden County lower in an annual New Jersey health ranking.

Hunterdon County finished first in the sixth set of rankings released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Essex County, where Newark is located, saw the most improvement in the survey. In that county, the foundation’s data show violent crime, air pollution, the number of uninsured and preventable hospital stays all went down. There also was an increase in diabetic monitoring and mammography screening.

Camden County moved lower because of higher unemployment, child poverty, adult obesity and sexually transmitted diseases.

The foundation’s John Lumpkin says the rankings are a call to action.

“We often think about health as being related to health care, but there’s so much more,” he said. “Having availability of fruits and vegetables in the community, safe places for people to exercise… these are things that people can do in their community that does improve their health.”

Economic factors also influence the rankings, with wealthier counties scoring better than those with lower household incomes.

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