Denver Public Health Health Promotion Banner
Denver Public Health Community Health Promotion Website Banner
PH-HealthPromotion-Obesity Prevention Content

Healthy Eating, Active Living

Denver Public Health is committed to improving the health of everyone, including those that suffer disproportionately from obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases associated with the lack of healthy eating and active living opportunities. The healthy eating and active living (HEAL) team practices this by focusing on the built environment, policy and systems that have a strong influence on health and obesity prevention.

Obesity in Denver, among both children and adults, is a major public health concern. Childhood obesity often leads to adult obesity, which is linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and stroke.

During the 2016/2017 school year, 30% of Denver's school-aged children (kindergarten - 9th grade) were either overweight or obese, and the percentage of obese adults in Denver more than doubled in the last two decades. Learn more about childhood obesity in Denver.

HEAL Programs 

Through two signature programs, the Healthy Beverage Partnership and the Denver Community Active Living Coalition, the HEAL team at Denver Public Health strives to promote healthy behaviors and prevent chronic disease in Denver communities by:

  • Reducing sugary drink consumption.
  • Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
  • Increasing physical activity.

Healthy Beverage PartnershipHealthy Beverage Partnership

The Healthy Beverage Partnership is a regional effort aimed at reducing the risk of childhood obesity across even counties in the Denver metropolitan area. In addition to facilitating local coalitions that conduct beverage and food assessments at community venues, the partnership also collaborated to launch an educational campaign that seeks to educate parents about high sugar content in juice-flavored drinks and soda. The Healthy Beverage Partnership has developed several toolkits to help partners join in supporting these efforts:

DPH Sugary Sweetened Beverage Position Statement Intro

Denver Public Health Position Statement on the Dangers of Sugary Drinks to Children

As doctors and public health leaders, we are concerned about the future of Denver’s children and the growing epidemic of childhood obesity in our city.

Denver Public Health, based on unbiased, evidence-based research, declares a warning, supported by doctors and scientists, to the residents of Denver: sugary drinks can lead to tooth decay, type II diabetes, obesity, and other preventable illnesses.

To address this health issue in Denver, Denver Public Health is working to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks through policy, partnerships, systems and environmental changes, as well as through public information educational campaigns.

Read more below to understand the problem, our position and steps we are taking to turn the tide on childhood obesity in Denver.

DPH Sugar Sweetened Position Statement Sections

Denver Community Active Living Coalition

Denver Public Health also utilizes a youth coalition in both healthy eating and active living efforts. Collaborating with partners at Denver Environmental Health, the youth participate in the Denver Community Active Living Coalition, which promotes walkability in Denver. To understand and prioritize community health and mobility improvements in our city, the Denver Public Health HEAL team worked with the youth coalition and partners to collect built environment data from schools and recreation centers around walking, cycling and transit. Other partners in this work include WalkDenver, Safe Routes to School and Denver Public Schools.

Learn more about our youth efforts.


New Report Shows Childhood Obesity Is an Issue for Denver

In August 2017, Denver Public Health published the Denver Childhood Obesity Monitoring Report 2012-2016, a new analysis detailing information about childhood obesity trends in the City and County of Denver. Details from the report were shared by CPR and The Denver Post.

Denver Botanic Gardens Joins Four Prominent Denver Public Venues Partner to Promote Health

The Denver Botanic Gardens is the newest member of the Denver Healthy Cultural Attraction Coalition. Convened by Denver Public Health, the Coalition's founding members include the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, Denver Zoo, History Colorado Center and Denver Museum of Nature & Science. These top cultural attractions have worked together to promote health throughout public venues in Denver since 2015. Last fall, members of the Coalition unveiled GO Foods unified messaging and signage that highlights healthy food and drink choices. The Denver Botanic Gardens will be adding the GO Foods messaging and signage this spring. Read more about this initiative.

Denver Public Health Recognized as Founding Member of Healthy Hospital Compact

Dr. Burman Healthy Hospital Compact Recognition

Denver Public Health Director, Dr. Bill Burman accepted recognition on behalf of the department for being a founding partner of the Colorado Healthy Hospital Compact on Friday, November 14, 2014.

Denver Public Health is proud to join area hospitals and organizations in their commitment to healthier hospital environments in the state of Colorado. Compact members agree to promote healthy food and beverage options in their cafeterias, vending machines and patient menus, as well as support new moms in breastfeeding their babies.

Denver Public Health is committed to patient, employee and visitor health, and is proud to be leading the way towards a healthier community.

New Partnership pledges to study and respond to the health effects of sweetened beverages

Denver Public Health is happy to announce our collaborative effort with Denver Environmental Health, Jefferson County Public Health, Tri-County Health Department, Boulder County Public Health, Broomfield Public Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment around healthy beverage consumption. The Denver-Metro Partners for Health Beverage Consumption's purpose is to build our capacity to address policies and practices to increase the consumption of healthy beverages in the Denver-Metro Region.

Chronic Disease Contact

Jennifer Moreland
Program Manager
(303) 602-3711

Campus Map and Parking

Have Feedback about Our Website?

Help us improve our website. Let us know what you like and don't like. Submit comments by email.