Feb 3, 2014, updated February 2014
Nestlé launched the Good Nutrition Program in Russia to boost healthy nutrition and lifestyles among children, parents and teachers, while preserving culinary Russian traditions.
Recent figures from the World Health Organization have shown that obesity is a significant problem in Russia.
Nearly a third of women in the country over the age of 20 are obese, while nearly a fifth of men in the same age range suffer from the same condition.
The Good Nutrition Program aims to cement the basics of good nutrition and healthy lifestyles among children, parents and teachers in Russia.
Launched in 1999, it considers differences in household income levels by focusing on traditional but healthy Russian food choices.
Nestlé is working with the Institute of Developmental Physiology of the Russian Academy of Education and the Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Sciences to develop the contents of the programme.
The company is also supporting the Ministry of Education to supplement its existing national curriculum.
Targeted at children aged six to 14, the programme teaches them about the principles of a balanced diet, knowledge on healthy products, beverages, fruit and vegetables, and categorising main meals and seasonal food.
It also provides expertise on specific dietary requirements during physical activity, in-home and out-of-home nutrition hygiene, eating etiquette, and how to read food packaging.
The Good Nutrition Program is split into three modules for different age groups.
The ‘Conversation about Good Nutrition’ module is aimed at children aged six to eight.
‘Two weeks in a Health Summer Camp’ is for youngsters aged nine to 11, and ‘Good Nutrition Formula’ is targeted at teenagers aged 12-14.
Each module includes educational materials such as coloured working books, pictures, teachers’ manuals, posters and brochures for parents of children aged six to eight, and interactive games and exercises for teenagers.
In 2013, all educational materials were strengthened by the physical activity component that was developed with local International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) representatives, as part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Nestlé Russia and the IAAF.
Teachers are supported at all stages of the programme with comprehensive teaching guides, annual regional seminars and workshops in all regions.
The Good Nutrition Program website acts as an important tool that helps to coordinate the activities of teachers across Russia. There is also an interactive section to engage children and parents.
Data analysis takes place every three years to collate programme information.
Studies show that participating children are much more interested in the role that right nutrition plays in their growth and development.
They are demonstrating positive changes in behaviour by eating regularly and choosing healthier products.
About 97% of children liked the programme and more than 90% of parents think it is useful for their children.
Value to Society
To date, the Good Nutrition Program has benefited over 5.8 million schoolchildren in 48 regions in Russia, such as Moscow, Sochi, Krasnoyarsk and Vladivostok.
More than 10.8 million children, parents and teachers have engaged with the initiative.
In 2013, over 850,000 children took part in 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.
In 2014, Nestlé aims to extend the programme to reach 51 regions and almost one million children in Russia.
The company also looks to further develop its website and provide online training for teachers.