An alarming 30.9 percent of Maine high school students are overweight or obese, according to the 2021 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS).
The survey data, released by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, suggests a number of alarming trends for both the mental and physical health of Maine adolescents.
The determination of “overweight” and “obese” was calculated using Body Mass Index (BMI) based on self-reported height and weight.
Rates of consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, such as gatorade, energy drinks, and soda, increased since 2019. According to the survey, the number of students who said they drunk sugar-sweetened beverages every day increased from 19.6 percent to 23 percent.
Just 50.1 percent of students reported getting regular exercise 5 days per week.
The obesity rate for Maine’s high school students closely tracks the overall statewide obesity rate, which came in at 31.9 percent in 2021. According to Centers for Disease Control data, Maine’s adult obesity rate has steadily grown since 1990.
The 2021 survey was the first opportunity to ask questions specific to the government lockdowns, school closures, and COVID-19.
42.7 percent of students said their mental health was “not good” during the pandemic.
You can review the survey data.