Ector County Has Highest Rate of Obesity in the State

Ector County Has Highest Rate of Obesity in the State

By Geena Martinez

NewsWest 9

ECTOR COUNTY - A new study shows Texans are tipping the scales at a higher rate and the numbers for west Texas aren't much better. Turns out one local county is at the top of the list for obesity.

"What it shows about Texas overall is that we have an obesity rate of around 66-67%" Jessica Chorney-Wilson, with Medical Center Hospital, said.

According to a nation-wide study just released by the CDC, Texas ranks 15th for the adult obesity rate but that number is even higher for Ector County.

"Our overweight and obesity rate is 70% which is higher than the state average," Chorney-Wilson said.

It's not just higher than the state average. Ector County is highest numbers of obesity in Texas.

Chorney-Wilson said unfortunately these stats aren't surprising for our area.

"Our rate of leisure activity is lower than the state as well," Chorney-Wilson said.

It's concerning but we're told there are several factors that contribute to this.

"Cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes is huge. We see this in so many of our patients," Chorney-Wilson said.

Sleep apnea can also contribute but many people don't even know they have it. MCH said the high rates could also be cultural and environmental.

"Much of our entertainment is surrounded by food and meal time," Chorney-Wilson said. "We feel like if our food's in front of us, what we were taught growing up, you gotta clear your plate."

In a surprising way, experts said even the oil and gas boom could be a factor.

More people means more businesses like new restaurants are coming to town.

"Our lives are very busy and sometimes it just seems simpler to stop on the way home and get fast food than go home and cook a healthy meal," Chorney-Wilson said.

MCH said residents shouldn't take this study lightly. The longer you wait to make a change, the more you're at risk.

"When people think about weight loss, they should not think about it on how they look, they should think about it in terms of the disease processes that come with it," Chorney-Wilson said.