The second largest state in the United States, Texas now has again been included in the list for being one of the ‘biggest states’ in the US. The ‘big’ in the current context means, it has been listed as one of the states with higher obesity rates. Like the geographical boundaries, now Texas will be known for the most number of bigger people, as the new survey by Trust for America’s health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reveals.
The following write-up closely examines the context and aspects of the recent study and the case of obesity in the United States. It also analyses in detail, the socio-economic factors that make the health disparities even bigger in a state like Texas.
Obesity In The United States
The United States is one of the countries in the world with the most cases of obesity and overweight. According to the statistics shared by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 36.5 percent of adults in the United States have obesity. In this list, another 32.5 percent of people are overweight.
According to the data shared by Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 50 states in the US have an obesity rate that exceeds 20 percent.
All these data reveal that obesity is becoming a growing concern in the United States and can lead to serious conditions if not treated properly. Studies have already been published on the role of obesity in advancing into further health complications which include: Diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, mental health issues, etc. Each year, Americans spend at least $147 billion on treating obesity and related conditions. Recent research has also found that obesity not only affects adults, but also children are more prone to it. This has raised concern on a global level which calls for immediate action to eradicate conditions like obesity and overweight in the United States.
Texas: One of The Cities With The Highest Obesity Rates
According to a new study by Trust for America’s health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, two major non-profit and non-partisan organizations dedicated to providing awareness on health as a national matter, Texas is the 12th most obese state in the US. As per the reports of this study, obesity rates among adults have spiked in the past year.
Almost 12 states in the US have an obesity rate that exceeds 30 percent. Along with Texas, other states in this list are Mississippi, Missouri, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Arkansas. According to this study, obesity affects most of those who are from racial minorities. Studies have shown that 38.5% of blacks and 36% of Latinos in Texas are affected by obesity. This indicates that obesity has a direct connection with race and other socioeconomic factors.
Based on these findings, one in three residents in Texas is obese. This means nearly 70% of the population in Texas is affected by conditions like obesity and overweight. Along with this data, much other shocking information on health makes Texas a place that calls for emergency actions. It is also one of the states with a higher number of physically inactive adults and diabetic patients. Based on another survey released by WalletHub, a personal finance website from the United States, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, a city in Southern Texas ranked first among the most obese and overweight cities in the US.
This survey was made based on key indicators which are of three categories namely: Health consequences, obesity and overweight, and food and fitness. As per this survey, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission city in Texas has scored 84.78 points out of 100 for obesity and overweight cases.
Obesity and socioeconomic factors
The data from the surveys indicate that people who are from social and economical minorities suffer most from conditions like obesity and overweight issues. A study published in the Current Obesity Reports journal in 2012 has elucidated the concept of socioeconomic factors associated with obesity.
According to this study, people who are from black and Hispanic communities have more threat of obesity. This condition can also affect them economically as the treatment for various conditions associated with obesity is costly. In Texas too, the racial and gender minorities are most affected by obesity as they lack the proper resource to have healthy food and a better lifestyle pattern.
Recommendations from TFAH
Trust for America’s Health is a non-profit organization that works for better health for the community and saving people from deadly conditions. By associating with like-minded community partners, they thrive to analyze the factors that cause health issues in society. Their mission is based on providing optimal health for every person in the United States. The current findings regarding obesity status have prompted them to bring forward certain recommendations and policies that can have a positive impact on the collective health of the country.
One such recommendation is to decrease any kind of disparities that can cause an upheaval of the health status of the country and improve food security policies by promoting the availability of healthy foods to every community. TFAH also recommends creating an environment where every community feels safer to partake in physical activities and healthier lifestyles. It also urges policymakers to enrich obesity prevention strategies with innovative and scientific models.