What is Shape NC?
Shape NC: Healthy Starts for Young Children is an Initiative of Smart Start and BCBSNC Foundation, funded by the Corporation for National and Community Services Social Innovation Fund. For the past six years, Shape NC has aimed to increase the number of children starting kindergarten that are ready to learn and at a healthy weight.
Shape NC promotes healthy eating and active learning through play for children from birth to age 5 by assisting communities across the state in healthy endeavors. The initiative uses a comprehensive and integrated approach to improve early childhood practices to inspire a lifetime of healthy behaviors.
How Shape NC works
Since 2010, Shape NC has helped communities and child care centers across North Carolina develop environments, practices and policies that encourage young children to be healthy. This is done through the implementation of three evidence based programs that promote best practices in nutrition and active play; Be Active Kids® (BAK), Preventing Obesity by Design (POD), and Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (Go NAP SACC)/
Shape NC embodies distinct features that together make it a promising strategy for early childhood obesity prevention.
- Shape NC works with the youngest children from birth to age five across the state. Most childhood obesity prevention projects target school-age children. Starting early instills healthy behaviors early on. Research shows that preschool children who are overweight are almost five times more likely to be overweight as young adults.
- Shape NC integrates multiple research-based models to provide an in-depth approach to childhood obesity prevention. It combines evidence based programs to create a comprehensive approach: Be Active Kids® (BAK), Preventing Obesity by Design (POD), and Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (Go NAP SACC)
- Shape NC mobilizes communities to commit to the goal of reducing childhood obesity and supports the facilitation of healthy practices in childcare centers
Why it is important
At a time when the nation is facing rising health care costs and high obesity rates, Shape NC is taking a preventive approach to proactively address the issue, focusing on the state’s youngest children.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 8 preschoolers is obese in the US.
- In North Carolina, roughly three out of every 10 young low-income children ages 2 to 4 years are either overweight or obese.
- Children who are obese by age 6 or overweight by age 12 have greater than a 50 percent likelihood of becoming obese adults. According to a report by the Trust for America’s Health, almost a third of adult North Carolinians are obese.
- Approximately 38 percent of North Carolina’s children are enrolled in almost 5000 regulated childcare centers, where they receive most meals and spend most of their waking hours
Shape NC Blog
The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc.
The earliest years of childhood are critical. Experiences during this time literally shape the structure of the brain.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield
of North Carolina Foundation
The BCBSNC Foundation is a separate, independent nonprofit foundation dedicated to improving the health and well-being of North Carolinians.
The Social Inovation Fund
The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is a powerful approach to transforming lives and communities that positions the federal government to be a catalyst for impact—mobilizing private resources to find and grow community solutions with evidence of results.
This initiative – Shape NC – builds upon the success of existing programs by bringing together three proven strategies to reduce childhood obesity.