Vancouver – More B.C. families will benefit from a healthy eating and active living program thanks to provincial funding for Shapedown BC.
The Centre for Healthy Weights – Shapedown BC program was established at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver in 2006. It was designed to help children and teens aged 6-17 years old with weight management issues and their families recognize and overcome challenges to active living and healthy eating. Through a no-diet, holistic approach, the multidisciplinary team supports families on their journey to create a healthier lifestyle. Families learn to set goals that target positive changes and to face the issues that may create barriers.
In addition to on-going funding for the initial program at BC Children’s Hospital, the Ministry of Health, through the Provincial Health Services Authority, will now provide $970,000 in funding to support delivery of Shapedown BC in the following health authorities:
- Fraser Health (Surrey): $280,000
- Island Health (Nanaimo): $230,000
- Interior Health (Kamloops): $230,000
- Vancouver Coastal Health (Richmond): $230,000 (where the English program has been translated and culturally adapted to reach Cantonese and Mandarin speakers)
This family-centered program is referral-based and held twice a week for 10 weeks. Each family is supported by a doctor, counsellor, registered dietitian and physical activity specialist. This multidisciplinary team helps families identify and problem-solve around their own unique healthy eating and active living challenges. Each week, families learn about different topics, including communication, parenting, label reading, improving children’s self esteem, family meals and menu planning. In addition, families take part in fun activities at their local Y or community centre.
In feedback surveys, parents who participated in Shapedown BC reported that the biggest changes they saw included being more active as a family and eating healthier. Children and teens reported an increase of “eating daily meals”, “less time on the phone and more time doing active things”, “making healthier choices”, and “enjoying exercise more and doing more exercise”.
Terry Lake, Minister of Health –
“It’s a priority for our government to encourage families to make healthy choices to help prevent chronic illnesses. Shapedown BC works with children, youth and their families to support them in making positive health choices in their daily lives.”
Joanne Mostrenko, Shapedown family member, Delta, BC –
“The Shapedown BC program was a lifeline for my son Brad and our family. We noticed Brad’s weight gain when he was in grade two, and when he was 12 years old we discovered that he had high insulin levels and high cholesterol. It became more about his health and his heart, not just his weight. Shapedown helped us make changes and set goals as a family. After the 10-week program ended, I noticed that Brad had taken what he learned and was applying it to his life – he was making better choices about meals and exercise, and had gained more confidence, too. My husband and I even lost a bit of weight! Shapedown was truly a difference maker for us, and we are thrilled to see that the program will be expanded to more kids and families across the province.”
Andrew Tugwell, PHSA Provincial Director of Population and Public Health –
“It’s remarkable how small changes can lead to big impacts on children and teens’ attitudes towards healthy eating and active living. With this funding, even more families in BC will be supported by Shapedown to make healthy choices together.”
Dr. Tom Warshawski, Chair, Childhood Obesity Foundation –
“Expanding Shapedown BC creates futher positive opportunities for families in BC to take significant steps toward a healthier lifestyle.”
Learn more about the program:
BC Children’s Hospital, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, provides expert care for the province’s most seriously ill or injured children, including newborns and adolescents. It is an academic health centre affiliated with the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the Child & Family Research Institute. Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children is the provincial facility that offers specialized child development and rehabilitation services to children and youth.
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide health care services across BC, working with the five geographic health authorities to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca
Provincial Health Services Authority
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