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Childhood Obesity Prevention

Kids with their arms around eachotherThe percentage of Weld County children ages 5-14 years who are overweight or obese rose 8.3% in three years from 27.0% in 2015 to 35.3% in 2017. Though the percentage of Weld County children in this age group who are obese remained relatively stable — 15.1% in 2015 and 14.9% in 2017 — the percentage of children who are overweight increased significantly from 11.9% in 2015 to 20.4% in 2017. As of 2017, 9.9% of Weld County children ages 2-4 who are enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) are obese, higher than the Colorado average of 7.5%. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can provide more information about the causes and consequences of childhood obesity, as well as resources for healthy eating and active living.

The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment (WCDPHE) is working to reverse this trend in early childhood obesity by intervening specifically in the following areas:

Early Childhood Obesity Prevention in Childcare Centers and Homes:

In partnership with other health agencies, WCDPHE will be providing training for childcare centers and homes on evidenced based best practices to implement healthy eating and responsive feeding practices, adequate physical activity, limitations on screen time, and appropriate age sleep durations for the children they are caring for. If you are a childcare provider and would like resources in the above area, please contact:

Mike Schwan, MS.RD.
Phone: 970.304.6420 ext.2343

Breastfeeding and Health Promotion in the Work Place

In addition to numerous health benefits, research suggests breastfeeding may reduce the risk of the breastfed baby for developing obesity in childhood. While the percentage of mothers who start out breastfeeding their baby is high, most do not continue breastfeeding for the length of time recommended to achieve the maximum health benefits.  Employment has been identified as a barrier for breastfeeding duration. For information on The Colorado Workplace Accommodations Act for Nursing Mothers the Weld County Breastfeeding-Friendly Work-site Program, visit the Breast Feeding Support page

Community Wide Consistent Messaging:

WCDPHE is working with agencies in the community who care for children to ensure that families and women hear a consistent message from all professionals in all settings related to preventing early childhood obesity.

Nine Ways to Grow Healthy Colorado Kids

Early Childhood Obesity Prevention

9 Ways to Grow Healthy Colorado Kids, is a statewide initiative to reduce early childhood obesity through consistent messaging. The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment invites all community agencies that engage families with infants and children to participate in the initiative by sharing the nine messages with individuals and families. Supporting materials for the nine messages may be ordered at no cost. These messages address preconception, prenatal and early childhood healthy behaviors found most promising in preventing overweight and obesity before it begins in young children.

To participate in the campaign, please access the following resources:  

Suggestions for Using the Messages

• Post messages and provide handouts for each of the nine messages (can be ordered using the order form)

• Incorporate messages into group discussion/interactive classes

• Use messages in counseling sessions

• Incorporate messages into parent education

• Create or enhance a social marketing campaign featuring the messages

• Help parents become involved with their child’s health

It will take all of us speaking with one voice to improve the health of Colorado children. Please join other Colorado health advocates in promoting these messages consistently. By working together, we make a stronger impact.
Spread the word and share these resources with your partners!

5210 Make TODAY Count!

The “5210 make Today count!” campaign reminds parents and caregivers of five goals to prevent early childhood obesity, which are for children and adults to eat 5 fruits and vegetables per day, limit screen time to less than 2 hours, engage in at least 1 hour of moderate to vigorous activity per day, and 0 sugary drinks. You will see this simple and effective message in numerous locations in Weld County in an effort to increase awareness surrounding early childhood obesity prevention.

5210 make Today count! brochures and posters may be downloaded free of charge by clicking on the PDF files.


Health Communication, Education and Planning

1555 North 17th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80631
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (970) 304-6470
Fax: (970) 304-6452

Mike Schwan, MS, RDN, CSOWM

Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Coordinator

Phone: (970) 400-2343