Early childhood obesity program coming to Mecklenburg County
by Staff Writer
Shape NC tackles the childhood obesity epidemic by focusing on young children, from birth to 5 years old, in childcare and community settings. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation has partnered with The North Carolina Partnership for Children, the organization that oversees Smart Start, to invest $3 million for 30 Smart Start partnerships to administer Shape NC for three years. In this second phase, the program expands to 10 Smart Start local partnerships serving Mecklenburg, Alamance, Anson, Carteret, Chatham, Iredell, McDowell, Mitchell-Yancey and Wayne counties.
North Carolina has the 11th highest childhood obesity rate, 18.6 percent, in the nation, according to a 2011 report by the Trust for America’s Health. Shape NC seeks to create a replicable, sustainable statewide early childhood model to reduce obesity rates among young children by improving their daily nutrition and physical activity, as well a their outdoor environments.
For more information about Shape NC or other Smart Start programs, visit www.smartstart.org.