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Snack Foods and Obesity Rates Essay Sample

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Snack Foods and Obesity Rates Essay Sample

Texas and America are known for their fatty foods and, therefore, are known for their high rankings in obesity. These foods are cheap, easy to find, and are delicious. Of course, Texas is one of America’s states, but they are both known for different types of snacks. When considering what kind of snacks Texans and Americans like to eat, snack foods can generally be divided into sweet and salty snacks. Sweet snacks typically classify with candy, cookies and bakery snacks, food bars, and fruit snacks. Salty snacks typically classify with any kind of chips, crackers, nut snacks, popcorn, rice/popcorn cakes, and dried meat snacks. The following section will compare the most bought snacks with rankings in obesity in Texas and the United States.

The most popular snack foods in Texas mostly fall under the category of salty snacks. Frito pie (a bag of Fritos mixed with chili, onions, and cheese eaten straight from the bag), peanuts in Dr. Pepper, beef jerky, jalapeños, and corn dogs are the all-time favorite snacks in Texas. Ironically, many of the popular snacks, such as Frito pies and corn dogs, in Texas may be considered as meals for tourists. Texas has a problem with obesity and holds some of the highest ranked cities in the US for obesity: Houston, McAllen-Edinburg, and Beaumont-Port Arthur. According to the Dallas Morning News, at the current rate of weight gain, by 2030, the current percentage of obese Texans of 30.4% will increase to 57.2%. This can lead to 13 million more cases of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart failure and stroke, arthritis, and cancer over the next 20 years. Texans may enjoy eating their delicious snacks, but because these snacks are super unhealthy, they are affecting Texans’ health risks and increasing the states cities’ ranking in obesity.

Similarly to Texas, America’s most popular snack foods also mostly lie under the category of salty snacks. According to Megan Willet, a publicist for the Business Insider, the top ten snacks in Americans’ hearts are: Ritz, Lay’s, Doritos, Fritos, Orville Redenbacher, Wheat Thins, Tostitos, Cheetos, Pringles, and Triscuit. Americans usually eat these in between meals or even with meals, such as hamburgers and sandwiches. Unfortunately, America is known for being a fatty country because of the large production and purchases in processed foods such as these snacks. According to the America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high.

More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) and 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 are obese. Interestingly enough, America used to be the number one ranked country in the world for obesity until a month ago when Mexico surpassed America’s numbers. Of course, this does not mean that America’s obesity rates are decreasing. According to a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 32 million more Americans will become obese by 2030, upping obesity rates to 42% of the U.S. population. Americans definitely love eating unhealthy snack foods, such as Ritz and Lay’s, but have to pay the price by risking the possibility of becoming obese from consuming too many snack foods.

Texans and Americans are known for eating these types of unhealthy snack foods, which can directly relate to their high rankings in obesity, and, therefore, have many characteristics in common. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas is ranked second among all the states in the percentage of populace that is poor. Texas holds a population of roughly 26 million people, and the percentage of its people below poverty is 17%. The United States, on the other hand, hold a population of roughly 314 million people, and the percentage of its people below poverty is 14.3%. Considering that snacks, unlike fruits and vegetables, are cheap, low-income workers (including people who are marked at the poverty line and below it) are more likely to buy these unhealthy, non-nutritional snacks. Therefore, the obesity rates in both Texas and the U.S. are dramatically increasing.

Of course, the percentages show that Texas has higher numbers, but because the U.S. is significantly larger in population than Texas, the U.S. is increasing its obesity rates faster than Texas. (Keep in mind that the percentages from Texas are put into the U.S.’s statistics.) In addition to comparing obesity rankings, it seems as if many Americans eat smaller portions that Texans do. For example, many Texans like to consider a corn dog as a snack, while American’s consider a bag of Doritos as a snack. Therefore, although Texas and the U.S. share a common interest in salty snack foods, they definitely do not share common food interests, and they both seem to follow the same trend in increasing rates in obesity.

Texas and the U.S. are both known for their fatty snacks and obesity rankings. No, they do not have similar favorite food choices, but they most certainly do share high rankings in obesity. The U.S. and Texas have a high percentage of low-income families and, therefore, only have enough money to buy unhealthy foods such as these snacks because healthy, nutritional foods such as fruits and vegetables are marked with high prices. A direct link is definitely shown between the top favorite snacks in Texas and the U.S. and their obesity rates. If Texans and Americans continue to purchase these processed foods, by 2030, their obesity rates will have sky rocketed. Of course, these snacks will always exist and be someone’s favorite, but hopefully Texans and Americans can portion the amount of snacks they buy and do their best to work harder with their careers to be able to buy more nutritious foods and decrease Texas’ and the U.S.’s obesity rates.


1. http://facts.randomhistory.com/texas-facts.html
2. http://www.businessinsider.com/ritz-crackers-americas-favorite-snack-2012-9 3. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/48000.html
4. http://texaspolitics.laits.utexas.edu/12_2_0.html
5. http://www.dallasnews.com/business/health-care/20120918-texas-is-on-a-path-to-57-obesity-by-2030-and-that-would-be-costly.ece

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