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Being inactive linked to most health problems for borderland

By: Ruben Veloz

EL PASO, Texas--When it comes to overall health, Texas and New Mexico are lagging when compared to other states.

The United Health Foundation ranks Texas 40th out of 50 states.

The rankings are based on numbers from 2012 which include factors like obesity, smoking, and physical activity, New Mexico ranked 32nd.

"I don't ever remember my parents telling me to eat healthy," said Socorro resident Olga Soto.

Soto believes Texas is in the bottom because of the lifestyle people live.

"Hispanics see well-fed kids as healthy kids, it's more quantity over quality," said Soto.

According to the study, more than 30 percent of New Mexico's Hispanic population is considered obese, and nearly 5.7 million adults in Texas are overweight, which is 30 percent of the population.

The study also said 5 million or 27 percent of Texas population are considered sedentary, or don't exercise.

"I am pretty sure that most students or most people in general rather eat a hamburger than something healthy, like a salad," said far east El Paso resident Paula Espinoza.

Espinoza told KFOX14 , she tries her best to live an active lifestyle.

"It's kind of like a challenge for me to work out, and still eat healthy, which is something most people should do," said Espinoza.

Despite Texas and New Mexico being ranked low in health scores, there is some progress.

The study said over the past year more Texans have stopped smoking and the rate of cancer deaths decreased in 2012.

The United Health Foundation also said New Mexico had a drop in cancer deaths, and is doing well preventing cardiovascular disease.

Soto told KFOX14, she hopes with more education, people will do much better at taking care of their health.

"I have heard a lot of people saying Obama care is kicking in, you know, I have to go apply so I am hoping people are going to take better care of their health," said Soto.

On Wednesday, the United Health foundation will update the rankings for 2013.

Already the foundation is saying that the states are showing improvement.



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