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Shapedown BC

The Shapedown BC program is a multidisciplinary, family-based assessment and treatment model for pediatric obesity.


In 2006, the Ministry of Health Services, through ActNow BC, provided funding to BC Children’s Hospital to implement the Shapedown program, a multidisciplinary, family-based assessment and treatment model for pediatric obesity.

It has provided the template for Shapedown BC — the adaption of the original model to Canadian nutrition and physical activity recommendations, as well as to current medical and psychological screening standards.

This approach has been the principle intervention used at BC Children’s Hospital to address childhood and adolescent obesity. However, a number of referrals have required some modification of the Shapedown BC model in order to accommodate the complexity of behaviours and/or cognitive skills, as well as the need for enhanced support for behaviour change. The range of services grows in response to patient needs and is best captured under the umbrella of the Centre for Healthy Weights – BC.

Program Origins

The Shapedown program was first developed at the School of Medicine at the University of California in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The approach demonstrated promising results for change in nutrition and activity for the both the individual and the family as a whole, while addressing the underlying factors that often promote poor food choices and physical inactivity.


  • To provide a gold standard of care in the prevention and treatment of child and adolescent obesity in B.C.


  • To establish a seamless assessment, referral and treatment model for children dealing with excess weight in British Columbia.
  • To partner in the development of resources and initiatives that promote healthy weights early in the lifecycle.
  • To support research initiatives that enhance and facilitate best practices in the area of pediatric obesity.
  • To support the establishment of Centres for Healthy
Assessment Tools 


  • Panagiotopoulos, C., et al. The Centre for Healthy Weights—Shapedown BC: A Family-Centered, Multidisciplinary Program that Reduces Weight Gain in Obese Children over the Short-Term. 2011. Full article

Current Projects

  • Canadian Pediatric Weight Management Registry (CANPWR) Study 


SOURCE: Shapedown BC ( )
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