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Obesity is at the forefront of health concerns in America. For persons who are obese, not only is their quality of life adversely affected, but also their mortality rates are generally increased by 50 – 100 percent.

Overweight and obese adults are more likely to report a number of adverse health conditions, including:

  • Chronic depression
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • “Fair/poor” health
  • Arthritis/rheumatism
  • Migraines
  • Sciatica/chronic back pain
  • Activity limitations
  • Heart disease

In the lower Rio Grande Valley, over 75% of our population is overweight, with almost 40% classified as clinically obese. This is much higher than the state or national levels. Notably, obesity is significantly more prevalent among Hispanics, who represent 87 percent of our population.

In our area, one of the most common results of poor weight control is Diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and the fourth leading cause of death in the Rio Grande Valley. Due to the steady rise in the number of persons with Diabetes and earlier onset of Type 2 Diabetes, there is growing concern that the increases in the number of people with Diabetes and the complexity of their care might overwhelm existing healthcare systems.

It is The Legacy Foundation’s #1 strategic priority to find programs that will educate those in our community about weight management and the causes of Diabetes, as well as provide mechanisms to help them successfully lead a healthy lifestyle that will alleviate or prevent these significant health risks.