DIET QUALITY EVALUATION OF A LOW-SOCIOECONOMIC POPULATION FROM AUSTIN, TEXAS USING THE HEALTHY EATING INDEX

JACOB WHITEFIELD, UTHealth School of Public Health

Abstract

America’s obesity epidemic is responsible for the proliferation of obesity research aimed at understanding the causes, modifiers, and outcomes of obesity1. Despite the massive body of research that is available, and the rising popularity of nutritional welfare and community nutrition programs, the obesity epidemic is not slowing down. Since 1970, the prevalence of obesity in American adults has doubled2, and the prevalence of obesity in American children has tripled3. Currently, 2 in 3 Americans are considered overweight or obese4, as well as 1 in every 6 children5. Texas is not unaffected by these trends, obesity rates increased from 10% in 1990 to 33% in 2017, awarding the Lone Star State the nation’s 14th highest obesity rate6. Although the body of obesity research is not doing much to stop the rising rates of obesity related morbidity and mortality, it is successfully uncovering the widely varied factors that influence obesity, and obesity’s numerous unfavorable economic and health outcomes.