• Contact Information

    Public Health Phone answered 24/7


    Monday - Friday
    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Contact Us

    645 Parfet Street
    Lakewood, CO 80215

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    Lakewood Clinic

    645 Parfet Street Lakewood, CO 80215
    Fax: 303-239-7088

    WIC (Women, Infants, & Children) in Arvada

    5150 Allison Street Arvada, CO 80002
    Fax: 303-275-7503

    WIC in Wheat Ridge

    7495 W. 29th Ave. Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
    Fax: 303-239-9592

    WIC in Lakewood - 645 Parfet Street, 80215

    email: kharris@jeffco.us
    Fax: 303-239-7023

  • Achieving a Healthier Weight (Obesity Prevention)


    Obesity in America is increasing at unprecedented levels. Spurred by sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets, approximately two-thirds of American adults are overweight and 15 percent of 6- to 19-year-olds are overweight – a number that has tripled during the past two decades.

    Colorado Data

    • Seven percent of Colorado students in grades 9-12 are obese.
    • 52 percent of Colorado adults are overweight or obese.
    • 20 percent of Colorado adults report getting no physical activity.
    • 77 percent of Colorado adults report eating less than five servings of fruit and vegetables per day.
    • According to Colorado health officials, 20 percent of Colorado kids need to lose weight.


    Childhood Obesity

    Childhood obesity now is so prevalent in the United States that it is being considered an epidemic. According to the National Institutes of Health, the number of children who are overweight has doubled in the last two to three decades. Currently, one child in five is overweight.

    In the U.S., about 15.5 percent of adolescents ages 12 to 19 and 15.3 percent of children ages 6 to 11 are obese. The increase in obesity among American youth over the past two decades is dramatic:

    • Prevalence of Obese Children (ages 6 to 11) at the 95th percentile of Body Mass Index (BMI)
      • 1999 to 2000 = 15.3%
      • 1988 to 1994 = 11%
      • 1976 to 1980 = 7%
    • Prevalence of Obese Adolescents (ages 12 to 19) at the 95th percentile of Body Mass Index (BMI)
      • 1999 to 2000 = 15.5%
      • 1988 to 1994 = 11%
      • 1976 to 1980 = 5%



    Some of the causes of obesity include:

    • the lack of home-cooked meals;
    • sacrificing nutrition for convenience;
    • lack of portion control;
    • and the marketing of junk foods to children.


    Today's youth are considered the most inactive generation in history, caused in part by:

    • reductions in school physical education programs
    • and by increased time before the television and computer at home.
    • In the U.S., only the state of Illinois requires daily physical education for students in grades K to 12.



    Americans spend more than $33 billion a year on weight-loss products and services. However, the economic cost of obesity in the United States was about $117 billion in 2000.

    Health Effects


    • Prevalence of overweight is reported to be significantly higher in children and adolescents with moderate to severe asthma when compared to a peer group.


    Diabetes (Type 2)

    • Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents has increased dramatically in a short period. The parallel increase of obesity in children and adolescents is reported to be the most significant factor for the rise in diabetes.
    • Type 2 diabetes accounted for 2-4 percent of all childhood diabetes before 1992, but skyrocketed to 16 percent by 1994.
    • Obese children and adolescents are reported to be 12.6 times more likely than non-obese to have higher blood insulin levels, a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.
    • Type 2 diabetes is predominant among African American and Hispanic youngsters, with a particularly high rate among those of Mexican descent.



    • Persistently elevated blood pressure levels have been found to occur about nine times more frequently among obese children and adolescents ages 5 to 18 than in non-obese.
    • Obese children and adolescents are reported to be 2.4 times more likely to have high diastolic blood pressure and 4.5 times more likely to have high systolic blood pressure than their non-obese peers.


    Psychosocial Effects and Stigma

    • Overweight children and adolescents report negative assumptions made about them by others, including that they are:
      • inactive or lazy
      • strong and tougher than others
      • don't have feelings
      • are not clean 


    Sleep Apnea

    • Sleep apnea, the absence of breathing during sleep, occurs in about 7 percent of obese children. 



    Last Updated: 9-6-2013