Generation Health

Generation Health is a FREE, family-based 10 week program held in communities across British Columbia.

Healthy weights in children and youth continue to be a priority in BC. Generation Health is a community-based “made in BC” childhood healthy weights early intervention program for families with children between ages 8 and 12 and are above the 85th percentile for BMI-for-age. The program uses a lifestyle behaviour approach to promoting healthy weights in children and youth.

” I like being with other kids and having fun” – Child, Generation Health

Topics include:

  • Healthy eating habits
  • Physical activity for all
  • Healthy body image

The program includes:

10 weekly group sessions

  • Sessions are 1.5 to 2 hours long and focus on healthy eating and active living, goal setting, family mealtimes and family physical activity, sleep hygiene, healthy body image and self-compassion, as well as positive parenting.

10 weekly online sessions

  • Providing additional content including activities and recipes for families to try through the family portal.

4 additional group activities

  • Including a grocery store tour and introduction to different activities and doing things together

Maintenance Phase

  • At the completion of the program participants will receive regular virtual check-ins and continued access to the family portal.

Program Requirements

The program has been designed for families with children ages 8-12 years old who are off the healthy weights trajectory, meaning their Body Mass Index (BMI) for age is above the 85th percentile.

The following requirements must be met in order to register for the group program:

  • Child is 8 to 12 years old with a BMI above the 85th percentile for age
  • Parent/caregiver is able to attend all sessions with the child

” It was meaningful to be around a group of people that were like-minded, dealing with the same issues.” – Generation Health Parent

How to register for the Generation Health Program

Families can self-register for the program by calling Toll Free 1-888-650-3141 or emailing info@generationhealth.ca. Program details including locations, dates can be found at www.generationhealth.ca.

The Generation Health Program aligns with existing childhood healthy weights programs e.g., Shapedown BC and the HealthLinkBC Eating and Activity Program for Kids; early intervention is one of six elements in B.C.’s Continuum for the Prevention, Management and Treatment of Health Issues Related to Overweight and Obesity in Children and Youth.

Generation Health Webinar

A webinar was held on October 3, 2019 to provide an overview of the protoype program evaluation and introduce the newly branded Generation Health program. We are pleased to share this recording of the presentation.

Evidence-based Approach

Academic Advisory

The prototype underwent a process and outcome evaluation conducted by University of Victoria researchers. The evaluations’ design, methodology, data collection and analysis were guided by a team of academics who specialize in childhood healthy weights research at the University of Victoria, University of Alberta and University of British Columbia. 

A summary of the evaluation findings is available here: Evaluation Findings Summary

Literature review

COF conducted a literature review of family-based childhood obesity intervention studies (2007-2014). Here is the COF Family Intervention Lit Review Summary Report.  For a detailed list of the studies included in the literature review, please email: karen@childhoodobesityfoundation.ca

Past evaluations and market research

The program was designed using an evidence-based approach. It builds on five years’ detailed evidence and experience with childhood healthy weights programs in BC. Past outcome and process evaluation data collected from families, delivery teams and partners helped to inform the design. As well, a comprehensive market research study provided insights on the interests and preferences of BC families.

Program Development Team

A collaborative approach has been used to develop the new program. The curriculum was designed by physical activity and mental health experts as well as a registered dietitian. Working together, this team took steps to ensure the program is aligned with existing childhood healthy weights programs e.g., Shapedown BC and the HealthLink BC Eating and Activity Program for Kids.

Stakeholder Consultation

A consultative approach was used to design and develop the program. A community stakeholder consultation was undertaken between December 2017 to February 2018. The overarching external stakeholder consultation is presented as an infographic illustrating 10 engagements across BC and 305 participants.

EIP Stakeholder Consultation Infographic

Consultation Webinar

Childhood Healthy Weights Early Intervention Program webinars were held on January 10 and 11, 2018.  We are pleased to share this recording from the January 11th presentation.

In total, 105 participants attended the January webinars. COF captured all of the questions posed during the webinars and grouped them by theme. A PDF copy of the webinar slides and Q&As are available here:

EIP Webinar Slides

Q&As for EIP Webinars held January 2018

Changes and course corrections emerging from and confirmed by the consultation

Consultation participants were encouraged to share ideas, concerns and resources. Where possible, COF and its partners adapted and utilized input as it arose at each engagement.

A summary of changes and course corrections emerging from and confirmed by the consultation is available here.

Looking for more information on childhood healthy weights and the supports available for BC families?

Other childhood healthy weights programs available to BC families include Shapedown BC and the Healthy Eating and Activity Program for Kids.

  • Shapedown BC provides a free, multidisciplinary, healthy lifestyles approach for families with children/teens ages 6-17 years old who have weight management issues (Body Mass Index greater than the 97th percentile or between the 85th and 97th percentile if comorbidities are present). Physician referral required. For more information visit: http://www.bcchildrens.ca/our-services/clinics/shapedown-bc
  • HealthLink BC Eating and Activity Program for Kids is a telephone-based program designed to support BC children, teens and their families reach a healthy weight and improve their overall health and quality of life. Families work with a pediatric dietitian and a qualified exercise professional. The program is available to BC residents between the ages of 0-18 and their families. For more information visit: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthy-eating/healthy-weight/kids-program