Healthy Eating Active Living

CHOICES Infographic - Tax Benefits
Featured Work: Denver Public Health participated in a 12-month Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness (CHOICES) study to further support our goals to keep our communities healthy. In this study, we examined the expected health outcomes and health care costs avoided if the following interventions were implemented: 

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.

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.
  • Identifying the most promising childhood obesity prevention strategies.
  • Increasing clinical counseling in pediatric care settings.

HEAL Programs and Work:

Healthy 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:




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.

Water Activation Toolkit Technical Assistance

Schools play a vital role in the health of children. Access to safe and free drinking water provides kids a healthy alternative to sugary drinks such as juice, flavored milks, sports drinks and sodas.  Denver Public Health created tools and resources to support schools with improving water access for students while using the Water Activation Toolkit!


Community Business Scan and Letter: Sometimes approaching community businesses can be a great way for schools to raise funds for water filling stations.  The scan and letter will help your school conduct a scan of community businesses and develop a letter for outreach to businesses for donations.

Policy Tools: Policy is a great way to make water activation and access efforts sustainable. Our team has created a policy brief template and a water access policy language template for your use.  The policy brief and water access policy will help your school build a case for a water access and provide sample language to implement a policy specific to your school needs.

Please contact with questions.

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 Department of Public Health and 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 health efforts.

Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are harmful to children's health

Beverage companies market sugary drinks to vulnerable populations

Childhood obesity rates in Denver are too high

Denver Public Health's role in reducing childhood obesity rates

  • Denver Public Health serves to promote, improve and protect the health and well-being of the residents of Denver. We work to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity and raise awareness of the dangers of sugary drinks.
  • By advocating for the health and well-being of our community and patients, we are driven by the rules of science and grounded in the principles of social justice.
  • Children, their parents and caregivers deserve to know the facts about threats to their health.
  • We cannot wait until another generation grows up with poor health and preventable disease.