Thursday, January 29, 2009

Obesity Growing In Poor Areas of Texas

A report released today by the Office of the State Demographer predicts that more than 15 million Texans (more than 40%) will be obese by 2040, unless public policies are enacted now. 

According to the report, the problem is worst in Texas' low-income communities, where access to nutritious food is limited. 

“We already know in those areas there are a lot of other socio-economic disadvantages,” said Pilar Oates, executive director of Methodist Healthcare Ministries, which commissioned the report.

Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, stressed the threat posed by obesity to the state. “It strains the entire health care system. It hinders our economic productivity. It drains our state budget,” she said.

Unsurprisingly, many of the areas highlighted in the report are also those where hunger is rampant. In both cases, providing access to nutritious foods is key to preventing future costs.  

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