Texas
5:23 pm
Thu July 7, 2011

Texas Obesity Ranking Ticks Higher

Texas is the 12th most obese state in the U.S., according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011. The report is from the non-profit research group Trust for America’s Health.

Texas has been slowly creeping up the list for the past two years, ranking 14th in 2009, and 13th in 2010. The obesity rate in Texas for adults is 30 percent.  Fifteen years ago that number was 16 percent. 

Dr. Shreela Sharma, assistant professor at the Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at UTHealth said the reason Texas is inching up in the ranks of obesse  states is because of the environment we are living in.

"If you look at the statistics, it's inched up primarily in the minority and low income population who do not have access to healthy food," she said. "They do not have access to grocery stores. They live in neighborhoods that are not safe and their kids don't have access to parks or playgrounds."

The fattest state in America is Mississippi. It had the highest obesity rate in 1995, and still has the highest obesity rate today.

The obesity rate there has almost doubled over the past 16 years to 34 percent in 2011.

NPR reported on the obesity epidemic in Mississippi in May, and produced this 12 minute mini-documentary.