The B.C. government is spending $2 million to expand programs to help overweight children shed some pounds.
Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid says childhood obesity is becoming an epidemic across the country, and the government wants to help families eat better and lead more active lifestyles.
As part of that effort, the province is launching the Childhood Healthy Weights Intervention Initiative, which will build on existing programs like Shapedown B.C.
Shapedown, which provides medical, nutritional and psychological support for obese children, has been offered only at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, but now it will expanded to all health authorities in the province over the next two years.
The expansion will provide free healthy lifestyle learning and activity sessions for overweight children aged five to 13.
The government is also enhancing a service in which pediatric dieticians offer weight management coaching for the children of parents who call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.