(submitted photo: Childhood Obesity Foundation)

HEALTH

Free program in Surrey for families of kids ‘off the healthy weight trajectory’

Registration now open for 10-week program at Tong Louie YMCA

A free program that aims to make obese children healthier will be offered in Surrey and eight other B.C. cities this winter.

The Generation Health program is offered to families with kids aged eight to 12 who are “off the healthy weight trajectory,” with a 10-week session set to start Feb. 7 at Tong Louie YMCA.

The sessions will be held there on Fridays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., plus online sessions and group activities.

The family-focused, interactive program uses “a lifestyle behaviour approach for promoting healthy weights in children and youth,” according to a post at generationhealth.ca, where registration is now open. People can call 1-888-650-3141 for more details, or email info@generationhealth.ca.

“The program will support you in making family changes to healthy behaviours such as healthy eating, physical activity, screen time and sleep that support your child’s own health behaviours,” a description says.

It’s all focused on “practical, fun activities that build family connectedness while building both the parent/caregiver’s and the child’s skills to make lasting changes. As well, the program incorporates positive mental health activities that build resilience and self confidence and help to enhance overall well-being.”

The program is funded by the provincial government via the Childhood Obesity Foundation, which launched a pilot for it in the fall of 2018.

• READ MORE: Anti-childhood obesity program launching in Surrey ‘all about habits, not weight’

“Almost one-third of children and teens in B.C. are above a healthy weight,” said foundation chair Dr. Tom Warshawski, a Kelowna-based pediatrician. “Several years ago, the province came to our foundation and said, ‘What can we do about this?’ This is the made-in-B.C. program that’s been developed.”

The program is for preteens who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) above the 85th percentile for their age.

Warshawski said if parents think their kids are of an unhealthy weight, they probably are.

“To make sure, they should visit a doctor have their height and weight measured,” he said.

“We don’t talk about weight in the program at all, it’s about putting people on a more healthy lifestyle, and that involves the whole family – everyone gets involved,” Warshawski added.

The program is offered at sites in Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria, Burnaby, Campbell River, Chilliwack, Kelowna, Penticton and Prince George.

CLICK HERE to see video about the program.

(story continues below)

A “Family Goal Setting” blog was posted to generationhealth.ca on Dec. 31.

“As the New Year rolls around, we all tend to think about resolutions or accomplishments we hope to strive for individually or as a family,” the post says. “Sometimes all we do is think about them or perhaps work towards them for a brief time then feel lousy when we don’t meet our goals. It’s key to focus only on a short list of achievable or S.M.A.R.T. goals if we want to be successful instead of demotivated.

“S stands for specific—instead of saying “we’re going to be more active”, individually or as a family, quantify it like “we are going to do one family physical activity each weekend” and brainstorm together to create a list of ideas to get you started (e.g. going to the pool, trying a new hiking trail or hitting a trampoline park).

“M stands for measurable—ensure you set a target so you stay motivated and know you’re reaching success. Think up a fun, non-food reward, for meeting those milestones like buying a new board game or going to a movie everyone is excited to see.

“A stands for achievable—it wouldn’t make sense to choose the above goal of adding a family physical activity each weekend if one family member works weekends for example, or to train for a full marathon when current running levels are only a couple of kilometres. Make sure everyone is in agreement about the attainability of the type and timing of the activity or family goal.

“R stands for realistic—perhaps your goal is about cooking and eating at home together as a family more often. Is it realistic to set the goal for every single evening, especially on a day that’s busy with extracurricular activities? It might be more realistic to strive for 5 out of 7 days for example or one more day than your family is currently cooking and eating together.

“T stands for time-based—consider setting one or two long-term goals but also some short-term daily, weekly or monthly goals. It’s very motivating when you achieve success with the short-term goals and can continue to strive for the long-term ones.”

• RELATED STORY, from 2017: Online ads for foods and drinks aimed at kids should be nixed: Heart and Stroke.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Surrey city council moving to virtual meetings

For public hearings, people can register to speak via telephone

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

APRIL 4: Two people in Delta fined for trying to re-sell N95 masks

33-storey highrise proposal coming to Surrey council, first of three phases

Second and third phases include 36-storey and 31-storey towers

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Insurance shock for B.C. condo owners

Claim-free two-year-old townhouse complex told premium will nearly triple

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Most Read