This past fall, the Centre for Healthy Weights BC — in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health — successfully launched Shapedown BC in Cantonese and Mandarin.
Held at Garratt Wellness Centre
in Richmond, Shapedown’s Richmond edition was so successful that it will continue through the spring and fall to reach families in Richmond who require the nutritional and healthy living information taught during the 10-weekly sessions.
Shapedown has been offered at BC Children’s Hospital since 2006. The program promotes healthy lifestyle changes for children, teens and their families struggling with weight issues and helps them make positive changes in food, activities, parenting skills and self-esteem.
Shapedown’s Richmond participants were eager to share what they learned from the 10-week program. One child said the program helped her family by “teaching them life goals,” while another recognized that healthy eating and exercise are a lifestyle – “I learned how to set a goal, take action, and communicate with my family.”
Shapedown’s pilot Cantonese and Mandarin session in Richmond offered many of the same elements as the original program based from BC Children’s Hospital, but also focused on Chinese food and recipies, culture and cooking methods.
The sessions also linked the Canadian Food Guide to the Chinese diet and featured an emphasis on physical activity, encouraging parents to join their children in being active and getting exercise.
“It’s important that parents understand the health impacts of obesity, especially in the traditional Chinese community where extra weight is believed to signify luck, happiness and good health,” Amy added.