September 28, 2013 - 3:45 PM
Starting this January, Kamloops families with children who are above a healthy weight will be offered more support with the launch of Kamloops Healthy Weights for Children: Shapedown BC, a provincial initiative that encourages healthy eating and active lifestyles.
“The Shapedown program is designed to support children and their families by providing the information and tools they need to achieve healthier lifestyles,” says Minister of Health Terry Lake. “It is great news that families in Kamloops will now have access to this program and we are proud to invest in strategies, which are working to improve health outcomes for young people and their families right across B.C.”
Shapedown brings families together for fun and interactive group activities twice a week over a ten week period. A team of health care professionals and exercise specialists will work to build on the strengths of families so everyone becomes healthier and happier. Through Shapedown families can achieve a more active lifestyle and healthier family eating, as well as increased self-esteem.
“We are excited to see Shapedown being offered to Kamloops families,” says Kamloops South Thompson MLA Todd Stone. “The impact of obesity on a young person’s quality of life is significant, and we know this program’s approach has proven benefits.”
“Our most important goal is to improve the health of those living within IH. The Shapedown initiative focuses on the value of good health, not only for children but for the whole family,” says Interior Health Board Chair Norman Embree.
The group treatment program, led by a dietitian and a mental health professional, will operate in partnership with the Kamloops Community YMCA-YWCA at the downtown location.
“The Kamloops YMCA-YWCA is pleased to be part of bringing the Shapedown program to Kamloops. Giving children and families the opportunities to lead an active and healthy lifestyle is paramount to the mission of the Kamloops Y. This program is an example of how together we can enhance the health of children and their families and build a healthy community,” says Colin Reid, Chief Executive Officer, Kamloops Community YMCA-YWCA.
Referral to the program is through a physician or nurse practitioner. Kamloops families are invited to call the Kamloops Public Health Unit at 250-851-7300 for more information, or search “shapedown” under Find a Service at www.interiorhealth.ca/FindUs.
Rates of overweight and obesity are rising among children. Within B.C., the prevalence of childhood obesity has risen to seven per cent. Unfortunately the problem does not diminish with age. Research indicates that as many as 50 per cent of obese five year olds and 85 per cent of obese 15 year olds will become obese adults.
“Evidence shows that a healthy start begins in childhood,” said Dr. Tom Warshawski, chair of the Childhood Obesity Foundation. “It’s up to us to reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with obesity for children and help improve the lives of British Columbians and their families.”
The expansion of Shapedown BC to all health authorities over two years is funded by the Province of British Columbia. The Childhood Healthy Weights Intervention Initiative supports Healthy Families BC, the government’s public-health strategy that focuses on leadership, prevention and health improvement for British Columbian families and their communities.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013