By Todd Staples, Texas Agriculture Commissioner
The latest “F as in Fat” report is out and the grades are not good.
The research, sponsored by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, finds Texas has the unhealthy distinction of being among 12 states nationwide with adult obesity rates over 30 percent.
Aside from being a major health crisis, the escalating costs of obesity are draining our state’s resources and causing unnecessary health expenditures, which means taxpayers are picking up the tab for poor eating choices. If current trends in obesity-related health care costs continue, the Texas Comptroller’s Office projects obesity could cost Texas businesses $32.5 billion annually by 2030.
According to the new “F as in Fat” report, Texas currently has an obesity rate of 30.1 percent, up from 16 percent 15 years ago. The prevalence of obesity-related chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes also has risen. Over the past 15 years, hypertension rates among Texans have increased by 25 percent, and diabetes rates are up by a whopping 63 percent.
The good news is that we CAN do something about our state’s obesity crisis. Each of us can live healthier lives by adopting the 3E’s of Healthy Living – Education, Exercise and Eating Right.
There is no quick fix to winning the battle of the bulge, and more government is not the answer. But with each of us taking responsibility to apply the 3E’s of Healthy Living, we can begin to reverse this dangerous trend that is robbing our citizens of their health and taxpayers of billions of hard-earned dollars. Together, we can make Texas a healthier state.