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Childhood obesity is a major cause for concern because of the link between childhood and adult obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke.

Although Denver’s adult obesity rate is lower than the U.S. as a whole, it has more than doubled in the last two decades. The rate has grown from 10% in 1990 to 20% in 2009. During the 2012/2013 school year, 31% of Denver’s school-aged children (kindergarten through 9th grade) were overweight or obese. This is consistent with the national average of 33%. These rates will remain the same or increase for all age groups until action is taken to reverse the trends.  

By December 2018, the five-year HEAL goal is to increase the percentage of children in Denver who are at a healthy weight by five percentage points, from 69% to 74%.


The HEAL Task Force identified seven objectives in order to increase the percentage of children in Denver who are at a healthy weight by five percentage points, from 69% to 74%, by December 2018.

  • Fresh Produce and Cottage Foods Homes Sales - In 2014, Denver passed an ordinance to allow small-scale preparation and sales of food. See this handout for tips and how to get a permit.
  • Distance to Full Service Grocery Stores in Denver View the map here detailing the distance to full service grocery stores in Denver.
  • Distance to Full Service Grocery Stores by Neighborhood in Denver   View the map here.
  • Denver Vital Signs: Denver Vital Signs is an electronic newsletter published bi-monthly highlighting important health topics in brief, ‘bite-sized’ amounts. View the January 2013 edition spotlighting childhood obesity in English and Spanish. View the March 2014 edition spotlighting access to healthy foods and beverages in English and Spanish.

  • Food Systems Policy – This report, released in December 2014, identifies Denver’s food system policies and best practices. It reviews new and existing policy options, scientific evidence, comparable cities, and stakeholder interviews, and then ranks and prioritizes the issues. Partners can use this information to coordinate with other agencies to create an improved food economy.
  • Assessment of the Food and Beverage Environment in Parks and Recreation Facilities – In this report and its executive summary from May 2014, Colorado School of Public Health students led this assessment of the food and beverage environments at a sample of recreation centers. The assessment reviews factors in the environments and includes patron and staff responses.
  • Body Mass Index Surveillance in Colorado Public Schools – This report, spans June 2013-November 2013, is part of the LiveWell effort to capture more information about BMI observation efforts in Colorado. It summarizes the work Colorado schools and districts are doing in regards to BMI data collected of children. School districts and officials can use this information as a resource when weighing the pros and cons of conducting screenings in a school setting.
  • Denver Public Schools Preliminary Weight Status Report – Between Fall 2007 and spring 2013, the Denver Public Schools Department of Nursing and Student Health Services recorded height and weight measures of students and calculated BMI and BMI percentiles. View the report here.

The Be Healthy Denver team would like to thank the following HEAL Task Force Members for their important work in developing the CHIP and the HEAL Action Plan:

  • Doug Linkhart, Co-Chair, Denver Environmental Health
  • Dale Flanders, Co-Chair, Kaiser Permanente
  • Andrea Albo, City and County of Denver, Department of Human Services
  • Dave Bechhoefer, Lowry Family Center
  • Olga Garcia, Denver Health
  • Narada Golden, YR&G
  • Gabriel Guillaume, LiveWell Colorado
  • Greg Gutierrez, Denver Health
  • James Hill, University of Colorado, Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center
  • Cerise Hunt, University of Colorado, Center for Public Health 
  • Mondi Mason, Denver Environmental Health
  • Stacey McConlogue, Denver Environmental Health
  • Jini Puma, Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center
  • Gordon Robertson, City and County of Denver, Parks and Recreation Department
  • Lisana Rojas, City and County of Denver, Department of Human Services
  • Kendra Sandoval, City and County of Denver, Denver Seeds Program
  • Michele Shimomura, Denver Environmental Health
  • Christopher Smith, Colorado Health Foundation
  • Janine Solano, Denver Health
  • Shawn St. Sauveur, Denver Public Schools
  • Zach Taylor, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region VIII
  • Beth Truby, City and County of Denver, Office of Economic Development
  • Robin Valdez, Denver Environmental Health
  • Jennifer Wieczorek, Denver Public Health