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

Are diet and exercise enough?
December 14, 2017

Tackling Childhood Obesity is about More Than Just Diet and Exercise – This...

Continue reading →

Local Grant Recipients Awarded Federal Funds to Ensure Children Start Kindergarten Healthy
February 24, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE = February 24, 2017 Press Contact: Heather Strickland – 919-821-9564,...

Continue reading →

Smoking in Pregnancy May Lead to Childhood Obesity
November 14, 2016

New research suggests that maternal smoking during pregnancy might be a risk factor for...

Continue reading →

Keep Kids Healthy This Holiday Season
November 14, 2016

Just like adults, children can pack overload on sugar and pack on the...

Continue reading →

Lack of Sleep and Skipping Breakfast Linked to Childhood Obesity
November 14, 2016

The Pediatrics journal recently published new research on predictors of childhood obesity. Researchers found...

Continue reading →