YMCAs of Maine
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One of the key health issues facing our nation today is the obesity epidemic. Childhood obesity has tripled, and now effects children before they reach school (age 3), leading to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, COPD, and heart disease and increasing annual medical costs by $1000/person. In addition, the annual economic costs in Maine are estimated at $452 million. Systemic change is needed to coordinate behavioral changes in all settings and programs.
























Obesity in Maine 

Maine’s obesity rate for 2014 was 28.2% for adults, a decrease of 0.7% in one year. The obesity rate is highest among ages 45-64. Our state is still the most obese state in New England and the 33rd most obese state in the nation.

Maine's inactivity rate for 2014 was 19.7%, though, meaning that our state is more active than the majority of the nations.   Maine ranks 11th most active state in the nation, with New Hampshire and Vermont being the only two New England states more active than Maine.

Source: Trust for America's Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  The State of Obesity 2015 [PDF]. Washington, D.C.:  2015.



Maine’s YMCAs partner with schools, health plans, health care providers and employers in their communities to provide wellness programs that improve overall health and well-being of both children and adults.

YMCAs in Maine are committing to establishing Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards in their afterschool programs to teach children the importance of making healthy choices.




Role Modeling


Model healthy eating and active living.

Family Engagement


Engage parents/caregivers using informational materials and/or activities focused on healthy eating and physical activity a minimum of once a quarter.

Physical Activity


Ensure that children engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity for half-day programs and 60 minutes for full-day programs, including a mix of moderate and vigorous physical activities that promote bone and muscle strengthening. Play will take place daily outdoors whenever possible.

Screen Time


Eliminate screen time for children under two years of age. For children over two, screen time is limited to less than 30 minutes per day for children in half-day programs and less than one hour per day for those in full-day programs.



Serve fruits or vegetables at every meal and snack. Children serve themselves (family-style). No partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat), fried or pre-fried foods. Serve whole grains when grains are served. Serve foods free of sugar as one of the first three ingredients or less than eight grams of added sugar.



Offer water at the table during every meal and accessible at all times. Serve only water and plain, low-fat (one percent) or non-fat milk.


Science Daily: Causes of Childhood Obesity Complex, but Families, Media Play Key Roles

Portland Press Herald: Portland recognized for efforts to combat childhood obesity

Mainebiz: Harvard Pilgrim grants help fight obesity, promote healthy food in Maine

MPBN: Low-Income Maine Children More Likely to be Obese

Portland Press Herald: U.S. Obesity Rates Still Climbing


America's Health Rankings

Maine State Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Profile

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's 2016 County Health Rankings

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