BANGOR (AP) — Gov. John Baldacci says 30 percent of Maine youths are obese or overweight, presenting a major health risk that must be addressed.

Baldacci spoke Thursday at a program sponsored by Eastern Maine Medical Center to address the obesity issue. He said Maine’s youth obesity rate has doubled in the past 15 years and the state’s rate of overweight or obese youth is New England’s highest.

The governor said obesity and being overweight present risks of serious medical conditions, which lead to high costs to the health care system.

Thursday’s event identified strategies to address the issue. The featured speaker, Dr. Kim Eagle of the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, discussed a school-based program in Ann Arbor.

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