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We’re #12!

The twelfth most obese state in the country, that is.

They say everything’s bigger in Texas — and apparently, that includes the people. Texas ranks as the 12th most obese state in the U.S., according to a new study by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The study found that — not surprisingly — obesity rates are skyrocketing. In 2007, only one state had an obesity rate above 30 percent, but in 2011 more than 12 states, including Texas, have obesity rates above 30 percent. More than 20 percent of adolescents (ages 10-17) are considered obese.

In Texas 38.5 percent of blacks and 36 percent of Latinos are considered obese. Rich Hamburg, deputy director for Trust for America’s Health, said Texas’ obesity rates are directly linked to poverty, which unfortunately correlates with race.

Somewhere, the editor of Men’s Health magazine is nodding his head and saying “I told you so”. The report can be found on the Trib’s story page, or you can go to the source for more info. Needless to say, there’s a direct link between this problem and the rising costs of health care. Good luck getting that message through to our Republican leadership.

“The information in this report should spur us all – individuals and policymakers alike – to redouble our efforts to reverse this debilitating and costly epidemic,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Changing policies is an important way to provide children and families with vital resources and opportunities to make healthier choices easier in their day-to-day lives.”

I laugh the bitter laugh of a man who knows that his Governor will be seen wearing an “I {Heart} Socialism” T-shirt at a gay pride rally in San Francisco before he lifts a finger to do anything about this.

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7 Comments

  1. Frankly, Tom, I’d be happy if he simply stopped supporting policies that would restrict or deny access to basic health care for poor people. You know, like not throwing 300,000 children off CHIP, not making it harder to re-apply and qualify for Medicaid, that sort of thing.

  2. Maybe I’m missing something. I’m no fan of Perry. But what does his stance favoring restriction of state subsidies of health care finance have to do with his failing “to do anything” about obesity rates in Texas?

  3. matx says:

    Tom-The point is, if people had a regular primary care doctor they could afford to actually see, they wouldn’t put off medical care until the last possible moment (often involving expensive trips to the ER), including complications from obesity. A regular doctor could also help them establish and maintain healthier habits.

    If a visit to the doctor strains your household budget, you are not likely to seek medical help unless it’s an emergency (personal experience has forced our household to make decisions like this in the past, and knock on wood, never again).

  4. matx, nice theory, but there is precious little evidence that indicates that people having a regular primary care physician has anything to do with reducing obesity rates. Indeed, statistics show that a large percentage of the increase in obesity rates in the U.S. over the past two decades are in groups of people who have health insurance and, presumably, access to a primary care physician.

    The real point is that there are some things that simply cannot — and should not — be regulated by government. An individual’s decision on their eating habits is one of them.

  5. matx says:

    Tom-

    The government is not trying to take away your Twinkies–in fact, with all the subsidizing of Big Agriculture, it is actually encouraging the cheap calories that comprise junk food and sodas.

  6. Ross says:

    matx, the people without insurance wouldn’t go to the doctor in a non-emergent situation even if the insurance was free. And, they aren’t going to give up those tasty fat and sugar foods they love, even if the doctor shows them piles of evidence. They live for the moment, and don’t give a whit about the future. They eat fast food because it’s easy, not because it’s all they can afford. Heck, a sandwich is quick, easy, and healthy, and the uninsured won’t make them.

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