EPODE (Ensemble Prévenons l’Obésité des Enfants or Together Let’s Prevent Childhood Obesity) is an integrated approach to childhood obesity prevention. The EPODE approach brings together the community – schools, family, government and the private sector – to address the behaviour, social norms and social and physical environment that contribute to childhood obesity. Adopting the EPODE approach helps programs implement effective, sustainable strategies for childhood obesity prevention at the community level.
EPODE Canada’s mission is to prevent and reduce childhood obesity in Canada through the growth and support of EPODE-inspired programs. EPODE Canada is a regional initiative of the EPODE International Network, the world’s largest network of childhood obesity prevention programs with more than 45 EPODE programs now operating in 27 countries.
In Canada, the EPODE methodology was chosen by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care as the framework for Ontario’s Healthy Kids Community Challenge. EPODE is also the basis for SCOPE (Sustainable Childhood Obesity Prevention through Community Engagement), which engages in multi-sectoral partnerships with communities across British Columbia to promote healthy weights among children. The Heart and Stroke Foundation also incorporated the EPODE methodology into their community-based healthy active programs.
EPODE Canada Strategic Plan 2016-2018
Vision – A healthier Canada where families work together alongside their communities, including schools, health providers, local organizations, government, and business to ensure physically active and well-nourished children.
Mission – EPODE Canada aims to reduce childhood overweight and obesity in Canada by using the EPODE methodology to increase and support government and organizational impact.
Approach – EPODE Canada has been successful due to our 4 pillars: political commitment; resources and public-private partnerships; support services including social marketing expertise; evaluation and evidence-based science.
Our successful approach also includes a scalable, replicable methodology; a community-based approach focused on local capacity building; a multi-level, multi-stakeholder, non-stigmatizing approach; and tailored action plans based on baseline results and stakeholder expertise.
Outcomes and initiatives
Outcome: Lowered rates of childhood overweight and obesity across Canada
Initiatives to achieve this outcome:
1. Creation of new EPODE programs and projects in Canada within municipal and provincial government and local organizations.
EPODE Canada will help conceptualize and manage the program, including needs assessment, recommendations, implementation, evaluation and mentoring and coaching.
- Build high awareness and support by government and local organizations of the EPODE methodology and EPODE programs.
- EPODE Canada will attend special events and conferences.
- EPODE Canada communications including webinars and newsletters
- Political advocacy and government relations strategy in support of childhood obesity prevention and the EPODE methodology
- Partnership development and networking
- Training workbook to help programs adopt the EPODE methodology
2. Training and evaluation for EPODE programs to ensure their impact and endurance.
- Training through EPODE Canada webinars and the annual Obesity Forum
- Compile and share best practices (programs, interventions) through the OPEN database, webinars and other communications.
- Evaluation provided by the EIN and in partnership with evaluation experts
- Affordable, adaptable evaluation toolkit for community-based programs