Texas, also known as the “Lone Star State,” became the 28th state of the United States on Dec. 29, 1845. It is the home of black bears, coyotes, cougars, armadillos, a larger variety of birds than any other state, and the most cattle in the country across its thousands of ranches. Texas shares 1,254 miles of common border with Mexico, and that has heavily influenced the cuisine known to many as “Tex-Mex.”
While Tex-Mex cuisine, consisting of fajitas, nachos, beef, black beans, vegetables, and cheese may be delicious, it didn’t help Texas prevent its population from significantly increasing its obesity percentage over the decade spanning 2012 to 2022. Of the 254 counties that contain nearly 30 million people to comprise the second-most populated state, none of them lowered their obesity during those 10 years.
According to statistics based on County Health Rankings Data, only two counties kept their populations’ obesity percentage at parity since 2012: Kaufman and Travis. However, Kaufman’s population is 36 percent obese, and Travis’ is 25 percent obese. That means that more than one in three people in Kaufman are considered obese, as is one in four people in Travis. Check out the percentages for the other 252 counties in Texas via the infographic below:
Presidio fared the worst in terms of rising obesity. As of 2022, 45 percent of its population is considered obese — a staggering 20 percent jump in just 10 years. Presidio’s massive leap in obesity percentage was by no means unique, nor is it the country with the highest obesity percentage. That title belongs to Hidalgo county, with an obesity percentage of 48 percent — 18 points higher than their obesity percentage in 2012.
Seventy-four of Texas’ counties saw at least a 10 percent increase in their population’s obesity. Sixty counties in Texas have populations with obesity percentages of 40 or higher. What is all the more distressing is that only one county has a population with an obesity percentage below 30 — Travis at 25 percent. When comparing all of Texas’ counties on a curve, Hidalgo scored the worst with a jump of 14 percent.
Featured image via Shutterstock/f11photo