Oct 31, 2013, updated March 2015
Nestlé launched its Healthy Kids Programme in Japan in 2011, focusing on the nutrition education and physical activity of children aged six to 12.
As more and more Japanese children lacked in exercise and their eating habits and diets changed over the years, the Japanese government introduced the ‘Basic Law on Food Education’ to boost a number of healthy eating initiatives and activities across the nation in 2005.
As a result, nutrition education has been introduced in all elementary schools.
Healthy Kids Japan: Promoting balanced diets and encouraging physical activity among youth.
Nestlé’s Healthy Kids Programme aims to improve children’s awareness and knowledge about balanced diets.
In addition to nutrition education, the programme has a special focus on exercise for a strong and healthy body.
Nestlé is developing the programme by supporting the Child Health Council of the Japan Society of Nutrition Circle, a non-profit organisation.
The company is also working with nutrition specialists and medical experts such as registered dieticians, exercise specialists, bone researchers, and cardiologists.
Through the concept of ‘You are in charge of your own body’, children are inspired to learn about healthy eating and participate in physical activities.
Teachers can choose from a variety of contents made available through the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme based on the specific requirements at their school.
As part of the initiative, a new exercise programme was introduced in 2014 called ‘Balance, Rhythm, Timing’ (BRT) to encourage children to get active, even in small rooms.
This is currently being monitored for a year at a school in Fukushima Prefecture, in which children have less exercise opportunities with only limited space available, and where the obesity rate in children has risen since the earthquake in 2011.
Value to Society
At the end of 2013, the programme reached about 600,000 children in about 3,600 elementary schools.
The Child Health Council of the Japan Society of Nutrition Circle compiled evaluations with schoolteachers throughout the programme.
Evaluations showed that the schoolchildren acquired a sound knowledge on good nutrition and were more aware about how physical exercise positively impacts on their well-being.
Japanese pupils also showed an active interest in the nutrition and exercise programme.
Value to Nestlé
The programme establishes a global competitive advantage and demonstrates Nestlé’s commitment to address health issues globally. It also has a positive impact on Nestlé’s reputation as a leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company.
The Healthy Kids Programme in Japan will be extended to about 1,200 elementary schools across the country every year.