Obesity in Maine

Millions of Americans are obese or overweight, and this number is only getting bigger. According to a recent study from Johns Hopkins University, three out of four Americans will be overweight by 2015.

Obesity is a serious health problem in the United States and in Maine. Being obese or overweight puts you at risk for many serious health issues, including heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and more more info you can find on http://www.cappsforcongress.com/faq.html.

  • Nearly 3 out of every 5 Mainers are obese or overweight
  • Obesity rates in Maine have risen 100% in only 17 years
  • 1 to 5 people die every day in Maine from causes related to obesity or being overweight (from Obesity in Maine, a presentation by Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH and Maine CDC/DHHS)

Fat, overweight

Your weight is influenced by many things. Some of these things - like your family history or your genetics can’t be changed. But many other things can be changed. You can help prevent or get rid of the problems associated with being overweight or obese:

Follow a healthy diet that meets your calorie needs

Be physically active

(From What are Overweight and Obesity, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute) On this page of the Maine Health Forum, you will find links to resources for the prevention, care, and management of obesity. If you have an interest in helping to develop and maintain this website, please contact us.

Oral Health in Maine

Oral Health

Cavities and other oral health problems have been called a silent epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans made about 500 million dental visits and spent an estimated $94 billion on dental services in 2006.

Yet many children and adults still go without regular dental services and other measures that can prevent oral diseases. In Maine, low-income families are especially at risk for dental and oral health problems. Half of all cavities go untreated among low-income children.

Cavities may cause pain, problems chewing, school absence, malnutrition, and poor appearance - problems that can greatly affect a child’s success in life. Cavities can also lead to other health problems like sinus or gum infections, toothache, and tooth loss.

The Maine Oral Health Program reports that many Maine people ages 25-44 have lost 6 or more teeth because of tooth decay or gum disease. Most lost at least one tooth due to preventable causes. Maine also has a shortage of dentists, which makes it even harder for people to get the dental care they need.

Almost all oral diseases can be prevented. The goal is to stop dental and oral problems before they start. You can learn how to keep your mouth, gums and teeth healthy. You can prevent problems before they start. See a dentist at least once a year to have your teeth cleaned and checked. The dentist will also check the health of your mouth and gums. You should also see a dentist if you have problems like bleeding of your gums or tooth pain.

Take care of your mouth, teeth and gums. Make dental care an important part of your overall health. Everyone, from children to seniors, needs to have good dental care habits.

The health of your mouth is affected by:

  • Diet
  • Tobacco use in any form: cigarettes, snuff, chewing tobacco
  • Medicines
  • Chewing on hard things like pencils, hard candy or ice
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Athletic accidents - backyard or organized sports
  • Other diseases or conditions you might have such as diabetes and heart disease.

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