Oct 23, 2013, updated March 2015
Following the success of Nestlé’s Chile’s three-year educational experience in the Peñalolén district of Santiago, the company has signed new partnerships with educational foundations and municipal corporations to continue emphasising nutrition education to schoolchildren nationwide.
A study by the IHMD of University of Washington has revealed that Chile is ninth among countries worldwide with the most obese children and adolescents under 20 years old. As result, about 34.4% of the population in this age group are overweight and suffer from obesity.
This worrying statistic corresponds with recent figures released by the Chilean authorities. About 24% of children under six years old are overweight and 10% are obese, according to a study by the Ministry of Health from December 2013.
In 2010, Nestlé created the Niños in Acción programme in the Peñalolén district.
In three years, the nutrition didactic materials and its methodology applied at schools in Peñalolén were key factors to boost children’s knowledge and help adapt their eating habits.
Following its success, Nestlé launched a new stage of the programme in 2013 to highlight nutrition education to schoolchildren.
Nestlé focused on the ‘Manual Educativo – Guía de Actividades en Alimentación y Nutrición para el Docente’, an educational manual on food and nutrition for prekindergarten to fourth grade teachers.
The company edited the manual, together with a nutritionist and a biology teacher expert in textbook methodology.
The manual, which was validated by the Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology of the University of Chile (INTA) and ‘Corporation 5 a Day’, has helped to reach more teachers nationwide who work with young children. It obtained the sponsorship of the Ministry of Education in 2013.
Today, the programme is providing nutritional education to schoolchildren from five educational corporations including: Fundación Belén Educa, SIP Red de Colegios, Fundación Astoreca, Fundación Mano Amiga and Red Educativa Fe y Alegría Chile.
The programme also includes students from municipal schools located in Graneros, Macul, San Fernando, Los Angeles and Osorno.
It offers a food and nutrition course for teachers on how to use the manual and its methodology, and the delivery of the manual and educational materials for teachers’ classroom activities.
In 2014, two Nestlé Healthy Kids events took place in Osorno, which was attended by about 300 participating children, and about 400 students in Santiago.
Value to Society
The new partnerships with educational foundations and municipal corporations have resulted in the programme impacting about 9,000 pre-kindergarten to second grade children in 35 schools in Santiago, and other regions, under Nestlé’s direct monitoring.
A report conducted by Universidad Mayor in 2013 on 2,500 students showed that all questions related to healthy eating had an increase in correct answers.
For example, the question: “Which of these foods provide calcium?” showed an increase of 27% in correct answers. The university will continue to analyse the children’s responses to the programme.
Value to Nestlé
The programme establishes a global competitive advantage and demonstrates Nestlé’s commitment to address health issues globally; and has a positive impact on Nestlé’s reputation as a leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company.
Nestlé aims to continue delivering nutritional education to Chilean children through its programme.
The company is currently preparing new tools to increase its impact in the country in 2015.