Welcome to ShapedownBC!

To find out more about Shapedown including current program locations, please visit the Shapedown BC website, here.

What is ShapedownBC?

ShapedownBC is a free behavioural weight management program that helps children and teens and their families recognize and overcome their challenges to active living and healthy eating. Through a No-Diet, holistic approach, the multidisciplinary team supports families on their journey to creating a healthier lifestyle by learning to set goals that target positive changes and to face the issues that may be creating barriers. This program is provided by BC health authorities, in partnership with participating YMCAs and recreation centres.

How do I join the Shapedown Program?

A physician referral is required in order to be considered for the program. All referrals are screened in order to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Children/adolescents between 6-17 years of age.
  • Children/adolescents with a BMI (Body Mass Index) greater than 97%. Children/adolescents with a BMI between 85% and 97% will be considered if certain medical conditions are present. Check BMI here
  • Both parents and children/adolescents must be prepared to make changes and attend on a regular basis.
  • At least one parent who attends the program, must be proficient in English.

What happens at the ShapedownBC program?

Parents, children, and teens who are eligible, are booked for 2 appointments with the Childhood Healthy Weights (CHW) team. The first is a 4 hours comprehensive medical, psycho-social, and lifestyle assessment. The second appointment is a 1 hour feedback session to review the results of the intake assessment and determine the family’s commitment/readiness and or capacity for success in the group program.

GROUP Program

  • The group program is age-clustered (6-8 years, 9-11 years, 12-13 years, and 14-17 years) and runs for 10 weeks*, two sessions per week:
  • One 2 hour evening session at BC Children’s Hospital with a 30 minute activity session for the children with an exercise instructor
  • One hour weekend Family Fun activity session at the YMCA or Rec Centre
  • *the teen sessions have an additional 3 sessions for teens only to address emotional issues around eating.

What happens in the Group Sessions?

  • A variety of topics related to making healthy lifestyle choices including healthy eating, active living, and building strong relationships are discussed each week.
  • Children/teens and their parent(s) and or primary caregiver(s) are often separated in order to facilitate age appropriate discussions in a fun, interactive, comfortable environment.
  • The Shapedown facilitators will teach families how to make positive changes using SMART goal setting techniques. Families will build on their success each week.
  • Children/teens will engage in a 30-minute fun-filled active session with a qualified fitness instructor from the YMCA. Water bottles, comfortable clothing, and athletic footwear are recommended!
  • Participants will get a chance to enjoy a variety of healthy snack options
  • Families who participate in ShapedownBC are offered a free 6 month family pass and family coaching session to the YMCA or recreation centre facilities as soon as they start the intervention
  • Families have access to the team’s registered dietitian and mental health professional on an individual basis at any phase in the program in order to support a successful outcome

What happens after group ends?

  • After the family has completed the program, they are encouraged to continue to use the family fitness pass and attend the YMCA or local rec centres.
  • They will also receive monthly newsletters to help keep you on track.
  • They will have continued access to our Mental Health Professional and Registered Dietitian for booster session, until the child is 18 years old.
  • They will have the opportunity to re-enroll in another age-based program if necessary

How can I get my child involved in ShapedownBC?

Families interested in learning more about ShapedownBC can phone or email program sites directly. Check out the ShapedownBC website for contact information.

If you live outside BC, please click here to see our list of children’s programs across Canada.

LIVE 5-2-1-0!


or more veggies and fruit per day


no more than two hours of screen time a day

hour of physical activity or more per day


no sugary drinks