AUSTIN (KXAN) - A new report on the Obesity Epidemicin Texas released Thursday forecasts a dramatic rise in obesityrates throughout the next 31 years. By 2040, nearly 15 millionTexas adults, 43 percent of the population, will be obese ifmeasures to reduce obesity are not put into place immediately. Thereport was created by Texas StateDemographer Dr. Karl Eshbach, while the project was funded by Methodist HealthcareMinistries of South Texas and the Texas HealthInstitute.
"This is a project I sincerely hope is wrong," said Eschbach."It doesn't have to be the case as the future plays out assuggested. I really urge the people of Texas, the policy makers inTexas, to prove the projections wrong by taking the kind of stepsnow that are going to make sure there aren't the alarming rises inobesity rates."
Demographic changes across the state could increase the obesityrates alone. According to the report, the fastest-growingpopulations in the state are the older and Latino populations,those most likely to be obese.
"We have a previous problem on our hands that will bankrupt thehealth care industry if we don't change, if we don't do somethingabout it." said Methodist HealthcareMinistries President and CEO Kevin Moriarty.
However, adults are not the only ones affected by the obesityepidemic. Of Texas fourth-graders, 42 percent are overweight. Foryoung adults, obesity rates could increase from 10- to 20 percentin just seven years.
"There are some very simple solutions out there we clearly need,increasing the amount of exercise of our children, clearly changingthe diet of our children in school," said Moriarty.
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