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Obesity is a common but serious condition in which a person’s weight is higher than what is considered healthy for their height. Individuals can screen for obesity by calculating body mass index, or BMI, but this isn’t a medical diagnosis. A medical professional must diagnose obesity.

Obesity can contribute to health conditions like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Risk Factors for Obesity

Some factors may increase your risk for obesity, including:

  • Physical inactivity
  • Irregular eating patterns
  • Diet high in processed foods
  • Certain medications
  • Inadequate sleep
  • Mental illness
  • Stress

Non-medical Drivers of Health and Obesity

Non-medical drivers of health may also influence whether someone becomes obese.

For example, someone with the financial means to live in a part of town with more green spaces or bike lanes may be more physically active than someone living in a car-dependent neighborhood.

Whether you can access and afford fresh, nutritious foods also impacts your risk for obesity. People who live near grocery stores are more likely to cook fresh meals at home. Those who live in “food deserts,” where they may only buy food from gas stations, for example, are less likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and protein.

Obesity in Bexar County

About 72% of adults in Bexar County are obese or overweight. This is much higher than the national average of 42%.

Obesity rates vary across Bexar County from 63-81%.

Obesity’s Impact on Overall Health

Obesity may increase your risk for other health conditions, including:

Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is a major health concern in Bexar County. Children who are obese are more likely to stay overweight or obese and develop chronic diseases as adults.

Children who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk of developing health problems, like:

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a leading cause of liver transplant in children.

Obesity Prevention

Obesity is preventable. Making lifestyle changes, like adding more physical exercise to your routine, can reduce your risk.

Ways to prevent obesity in children and adults include:

  • Eat three nutritious meals each day
  • Reduce your intake of processed and fast foods
  • Limit sugar consumption
  • Get enough physical exercise (150 minutes each week for adults, 60 minutes a day for kids)
  • Get enough sleep (7-8 hours each night for adults)
  • Reduce stress when possible

Parents play an important role in setting an example of healthy living for their children. Children are less likely to be overweight if their parents at a healthy weight. Talk with your primary care provider if you have any questions.

University Health Resources

Primary Care Clinics

Make an appointment with a University Health primary care provider for adult and pediatric preventive care, health screenings, education and more.

Fitness Center at Texas Diabetes Institute

Reach your fitness goals at the University Health Fitness Center at Texas Diabetes Institute. Certified fitness educators offer classes and programs tailored to your goals.

Salud Por Vida

Salud Por Vida is for CareLink members who have been diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension. It educates members about diabetes management, fitness and exercise, nutrition and medication management. Please call 210-358-3290 for more information.

Senior Health PlatinumU Program

PlatinumU is a free program that teaches adults aged 60 and older about healthy eating and staying active. Members enjoy benefits like nutrition, exercise and meditation classes. 

Community Resources

YMCA Weight Loss Program

This program at the YMCA helps the whole family learn how to be healthy – mind, body and soul. This is a 16-week class offered virtually for people of all ages. Learn more on their website.

San Antonio Parks and Recreation Mobile Fitness

The Mobile Fit unit brings free fitness classes to schools and parks across the city. It also features a health kiosk that can help screen for BMI and blood pressure.

Free Outdoor Fitness Stations

San Antonio Parks and Recreation installed fitness equipment at 47 parks and libraries across the city that anyone can use for free.

Free Fitness Classes

Find free fitness classes for the whole family through the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation department. From swimming to basketball to tennis and yoga, there’s something for everyone, regardless of age, ability or skill level.

Explore More Resources

Find community resources like food, housing and mental health services close to home.