About the Center

Our mission:

We advance health and healthy living for children and families through cutting-edge research, innovative community-based programs, and dissemination of evidence-based practices.

Our vision:

Healthy children in a healthy world.


That’s our vision. Giggles and shouts are just pleasant side effects.

At the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, we’re building a brighter future by inspiring healthier lives. 

Based at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health in Austin, we work with educators, community groups, policy makers, and all those who shape a child’s world. 

Our research generates international attention, yet we don’t stop there. We’re a leader because we put that research into action.  Our programs are changing lives, impacting communities from the middle of Texas to the heart of Uruguay. Our successes are growing. And already growing up.

Why We're Here

Right now, children’s health is declining. The childhood obesity rate has tripled since the 1980s.  Kids receive less physical and health education at school, choose sedentary activities at home, and face heavier marketing of unhealthy foods and lifestyles everywhere else.

The growing cost of medical care resulting from health problems that begin in childhood and track into adulthood is unsustainable. The childhood obesity epidemic could lead to the first decline in life expectancy in the past 200 years. 

How We Help

From the outset, the Center adopted a unique integrated approach to improving children’s health. It starts with important, innovative research. What sets us apart is how we apply that learning to education and service.

Our diverse faculty combines experts on such factors as nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco and alcohol use with acclaimed researchers in strategic development, implementation and testing. 

Our research takes place in real-life situations and inspires real change.  We educate teachers, healthcare providers, and government leaders
as well as students at UTHealth School of Public Health. 

We also work with community groups to design and implement new programs. We track outcomes and behaviors. We share our findings. When an idea works, we make sure it spreads.


Would you like the Center to participate in a community event? Please fill out our new online form.