Texas Obesity Continues Disturbing Upward Trend


Overweight individual at the doctor | Image by Shutterstock

Texas is showing a disturbing trend when it comes to the prevalence of obesity among its residents. Over the last 10 years, two of Texas’ 254 counties have maintained a consistent percentage of residents with obesity, while the other 252 have all shown significant increases in obesity within their populations.

According to the World Health Organization, any individual possessing a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher is obese. A Body Mass Index above 25.0 is considered overweight.

With nearly 37% of our population clinically defined as obese, the United States as a whole ranks 12th in the world for obesity. This number has nearly doubled across the adult population in the last three decades, while nearly four times as many children and teenagers are considered overweight or obese compared to the 1980s.

Texas is among the worst states in the country in terms of obesity and has continued a significant negative trend in this regard since 2012, increasing the overall obese population by five points.

This number is even more alarming considering that Texas’ population has grown nearly 15% since 2012, adding millions more residents to this calculation.

At the county level, only Kaufman and Travis counties in Texas have retained their 2012 obesity levels, but these are not necessarily numbers to celebrate. Kaufman has maintained an adult obesity rate of 36%, while in Travis, a steady 25% of adults have been considered obese since 2012. This means one in three people in Kaufman County and one in four in Travis counties are clinically obese.

Some of the worst counties in Texas are along the U.S.-Mexico border, with obesity rates in Hudspeth, Willacy, Zavala, Hidalgo, Starr, and Presidio counties growing by 16% or more.

Presidio’s obesity rate increased an astounding 20%, for a total of 45% of the adult population in the county being considered obese.

Dallas County’s population of obese adults has ticked up slowly since 2012, rising from 31% to 33% in the last 10 years.

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Senior Pastor
Senior Pastor
6 months ago

People really need to get into the Wondr program. It is more of an awareness program than a typical diet program. Not only do you lose the weight but you KEEP it off and it teaches you skills you’ll use for life. I’ve lost 21 pounds in just over two months.

6 months ago

When you say obese, what exactly do you mean? 🤔 And what exactly is your motive? 🧐 There’s a such thing as obesity, but Texas has this thing called Texas thick and that ain’t considered obesity to Texans (as in natives, born and raised). Natives don’t have a problem with seeing meat on the bones. Problems arise when you’re a newcomer, on top of being chickened out (skinny), no meat on the bones. Who publishes these works, where are you from, let us see if you need meat on your bones!