PORTLAND (AP) – Mainers got a warning from the nation’s acting surgeon general about the dangers of childhood obesity.

Steven Galson told reporters in Portland that 12.5 million children in the U.S. between the ages of 2 and 19 are overweight.

He called it a public health problem of epidemic proportions.

Galson praised a Maine-based partnership, the Healthy Weight Awareness Campaign, for helping to combat childhood obesity.

According to state officials about 100,000 Maine children under 18 are overweight or obese.

Galson’s visit Wednesday was part of a nationwide tour to promote a federal initiative aimed at improving the health of young people.

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