among Hispanics and African Americans, as is a lack of health insurance (Table 3-1).
Texas ranks sixth among states in rates of childhood obesity. To emphasize the severity of the problem in the state, Sanchez presented national statistics on childhood obesity and noted that the proportions and trends are higher and more pronounced in Texas. Nationwide, nearly 33 percent of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, 16.3 percent (one in six) of children and adolescents are obese, and 11.3 percent are very obese. Obesity in the United States is particularly prevalent among Latino boys and African American girls aged 6–19 (Table 3-2). These statistics imply a growing obesity problem in Texas given that the proportion of Latino and African American students is increasing, while the proportion of white students is decreasing.
To improve health outcomes and contain future health-related costs, Texas initiated policies designed to address the childhood obesity epidemic (Table 3-3). The first comprised a series of three state Senate bills passed over the course of six years. Senate Bill 19 (2001) featured minimum