Texas One of the Nation's Most Unhealthy States - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/5/07-Lufkin

Texas One of the Nation's Most Unhealthy States

by Tashun Chism

They say everything's bigger in Texas, which may explain why Texas ranks 37th on a list of healthiest states.

Many Texans wouldn't think their state was ranked so low, but experts say there are several reasons why Texas is near the bottom.

The main reason is obesity. High fat diets combined with lack of excercise has increased obesity all over the US. But Texas is famous for serving large portions of foods like Bar-B-Q, steaks, and Tex Mex.

"A good rule of thumb is don't eat more than you can walk off in a day, because it will stay with you unless you walk it off," said Memorial Hospital's Clinical Nutrition Director, Tim Scallon.

Smoking is another problem.

"Smoking of course is the number one lifestyle factor that contributes most to chronic disease," Scallon said.

Smoking raises all cancer rates and contributes to heart disease. Another problem is the large number of texans who lack access to healthcare.

"The reason why access to health care is an issue is because you miss out on early diagnosis. If you can diagnois a health problem early, you spend a lot fewer health care dollars to fix that than if you diagnois it late," Scallon told us.

As long as Texans take more responsibilty for their health, it's not too late for Texas to move up in the rankings.

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