I love rolling in to a good old Texas smokehouse for a slice of juicy brisket or a couple of falling-off-the-bone-good pork ribs. And, naturally, I like to polish off my big plate of meat with a dollop of potato salad and a tall stack of white bread. What Texan doesn’t? In the land where cowboys mingle with oil tycoons and high school football games mix with world-class museum exhibits, most everything is grand.
Ask anyone outside Texas what they know about the Lone Star State and you’ll likely hear something that amounts to “I’ve heard everything’s bigger in Texas.” Indeed, we have big trucks, a plethora of barbecue joints, gregarious characters who seem larger than life, vast wide-open spaces, tall buildings, sprawling ranches, and tall tales. We’ve also added another notch to our extra-large belt: Texas is one of the fattest states in the U.S.
The Texas Department of State Health Services found in 2007 that as many as 11.4 million adult Texans were overweight or obese. In 2008 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 26 percent of the adults living in Texas were obese. Texas has ranked as high as ten among U.S. states in obesity rankings. We Texans have many things to be proud of, but being one of the most overweight states in the nation should not be one of them.
So how can we continue to hit roadside barbecue joints, chili cookoffs, and small-town cafes? Or devour those delicious corn dogs at a game at the Darrel K Royal—Texas Memorial Stadium? How can we fight the growing trend of obesity? First and foremost, we need to start thinking about what we’re putting into our bodies—and what kind of effect