Generation Health

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

Healthy lifestyles in children and youth continue to be a priority in BC. Generation Health is a community-based “made in BC” family healthy living program for families with at least one child 8 to 12 years old. The program uses a lifestyle behaviour approach to promote and improve lifestyle behaviours in children and families.

“We have learned how to set goals as a family including to drink more water, be more aware of food choices, take steps in being more active together (family walks with the dog, better routine), increased fruits and vegetable intake, setting goals together, and being able to reference to ‘something we have learned from Generation Health’…” – parent

“I like being with other kids and having fun” – child

Program topics include:

  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • Positive mental health
  • Reducing recreational screen time
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Healthy body image and self-compassion
  • Goal setting
  • Positive parenting

The program includes:

  1. 10 weekly group sessions with trained facilitators
    – Sessions are 2 hours long and include time together as a family as well as parent-only time.

    – Info/Q&A session with a Registered Dietitian – an opportunity to ask more specific questions about nutrition and healthy eating habits. Open to both parents and children.
    – Info/Q&A session with a Registered Clinical Counsellor – an opportunity to learn more about positive mental health, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) skills-based strategies, and community mental health resources. Open to parents/caregivers only due to the nature of the content and to allow space for discussion.
  2. 10 weekly group sessions with trained facilitators
    Provide additional content and resources including informational videos, family activities, child-friendly recipes, and more. These sessions are designed to supplement learnings from the weekly group sessions.

  3. Virtual group cooking classes with a Registered Dietitian
    – Cooking classes are 1-1.5 hours long
    – Includes a variety of recipes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and balanced desserts
  4. Maintenance Phase

    At the end of the program, families receive:
    – Continued access to the self-paced e-sessions and resources
    – Monthly e-newsletter designed to encourage and support continued healthy lifestyle behaviour change
    – Family recreation centre pass – eligible for families who attend at least 7 of the weekly group sessions (Note: if a family lives in a community that does not have a recreation centre, alternate arrangements will be made to support the family’s physical activity goals)

Program Requirements

The program has been designed for families with children ages 8 to 12. The following requirements must be met in order to register for the weekly group sessions:

  • Family must have at least one child 8 to 12 years old
  • Parent/caregiver is able to attend all sessions with the child, however it does not need to be the same parent/caregiver each week
  • Child identified as struggling with at least one of the following lifestyle behaviours: healthy eating, physical activity, positive mental health, screen time and/or sleep
  • As this is a family program, siblings outside the 8 to 12 year age range are also encouraged to attend.

If a family does not have at least one child 8 to 12 years old, the family can still participate in our 10-week Self-Paced Online Program:

  • Includes 10 weekly e-sessions that cover the same topics as the weekly group sessions: healthy eating, physical activity, positive mental health, screen time, sleep, goal setting, and more. 

Family Feedback: 

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

“I have recommended the program to a few people, actually! For any parents who want help forming healthy habits… this is probably the easiest and simplest way, and it’s free. You get worksheets and notes to track your goals and progress. There are good meal planners and recipe suggestions. I would say that this program makes you more literate about food and health, which benefits both parents and kids. So, in my opinion, it’s worth giving a try!” – parent

How to register for the Generation Health Program

Families can self-register for the program by: 

Generation Health is an effective and innovative program for families with children who need support to make positive changes to their health and decrease their risk of overweight or obesity. 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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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:
  • 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: