Bad Diets, Smoking Cause East Texans to Die Young

Coming Sunday: On the Mexico border, some of the state's longest life spans. 

The proof of Anderson County’s live-hard, die-young culture is in the bread pudding — and the all-you-can-eat fried catfish, the drive-through tobacco barns and the doughnut shops by the dozen that dot this small East Texas county of about 57,000 people.  

In a community where heavy eating and chain smoking are a way of life, where poverty, hard-headedness and even suspicion hinder access to basic health care, residents die at an average age of 73 — seven years earlier than the longest-living Texans, according ...

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