Texas is considered the 19th most obese state, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2013, a report from Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Although the state's obesity rate has decreased only slightly, its ranking is a considerable jump from last year. According to the report, Texas' adult obesity rate is 29.2 percent, compared to 30.4 percent when it was rated the 10th most obese state in last year's report.
More than 65 percent of the Texas population is either overweight or obese. People are considered overweight if they have a body mass index between 25 and 29.9. Obese individuals have a BMI greater than 30.
Also in the report, 27.2 percent of Texans are physically inactive, ranking eighth in that category.
Overall, adult obesity rates have remained steady in every state except for Arkansas in the past year. Before 2012, the adult obesity rates had been increasing each year for three decades.
There are 13 states that have adult obesity rates greater than 30 percent. In 2007, only Mississippi had an obesity rate that high.
Forty states have obesity rates of at least 25 percent and no state has an adult obesity rate lower than 20 percent. In 2000, no state had obesity rates greater than 25 percent.
George Roberts, chief executive officer at Northeast Texas Public Health District, said only time and education will improve current obesity rates.
"There's been lots of efforts made — in Tyler, East Texas, Texas and the nation — to try to essentially make a call to action to deal with the issue of obesity," he said. "It appears, based on the current information, that that call is beginning to have an impact. The rates aren't going down but at least it stopped the accelerated growth, which is encouraging."
Roberts said changes in the environment and group efforts such as the Fit City Challenge and Lighten Up East Texas can help people to become more physically active.
"There's lots of work yet to be done," he said. "We've got to continue to spread the message to get active."
Health officials also are encouraged by some progress made in childhood obesity rates.
In another recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity among low-income preschoolers declined slightly between 2008 and 2011 in 19 of the 43 states and territories studied.
To see the report, visit www.healthyamericans.org/report/108.