According to the Texas State Data Center and the Office of the State Demographer, there are approximately 25 million people living in Texas. Texas is the second most populous state in the entire country, and it is the largest state in the 48 contiguous United States. Texas contains two of the top 10 most populous cities in the country, and it seems like they’ll only grow larger as time goes on. Texas is a great place to live; people are leaving the northern parts of the country and are moving south, and there are thousands of people flocking to the state’s metropolitan areas. Young adults are moving to San Antonio and Dallas for the thriving urban night life, and families are flocking to the state’s suburbs for the excellent school systems and safety.
It would seem like the average Texan has everything going for them, but there’s one thing that Texas citizens should be focusing on that’s very important: their health.
When Forbes did a study on the healthiest states in America, Texas ranked as the 39th healthiest, pretty awful when you consider that only 11 states ranked worse. The Texas Department of State Health Services has been monitoring the health of Texas citizens for years now, and the following health issues are some of the most prevalent and important among the population:
According to the state’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 9.7% of adults aged 18 or older in the state have been diagnosed with diabetes, roughly 1.8 million adults. There are also a significant number of adults in the state who are very likely to develop diabetes sometime in the near future. According to the state’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 5.2% of adults in the state have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes can be almost as damaging as having the illness itself, recent research has shown that long-term damage to the heart and circulatory system can already be occurring when people are pre-diabetic.
The Texas Department of State Health Services, National Center for Disease Control, and the Department of Health and Human Services did a study on dental health. They found that Texas citizens need to take more of an active role in practicing preventative dental care like regular dental check-ups, and that the number of children with access to adequate dental care is slightly lower in Texas than the national average. Most people should have no problem finding a dentist in San Antonio or in Dallas since urban areas have a higher number of dentists than rural areas.
Like many states in American, Texas has seen a dramatic increase in obesity and obesity related health problems in both children and adults. Obesity causes a variety of health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, but one of the major problems it causes has more to do with money than health. In 2010, the annual economic costs of the overweight and obese were estimate to reach $15.6 billion, and if current trends continue, it’s possible that the amount could be $39 billion by 2040.
While Texas citizens are battling a bevy of health problems, it’s still a great place to live, and by recognizing these health deficiencies and addressing them, Texas residents can improve their overall quality of life.
Ashely is a health fanatic and likes to write about anything and everything health related. Follow her on Twitter @ashelymarie1985 to see more.