Oct 4, 2013, updated March 2015
Obesity in youngsters is a growing problem in Brazil. Statistics have revealed that the prevalence of children who are overweight has increased from 10.9% in 1974-1975 to 15% in 1989, and worryingly reached 34.8% in 2008-2009, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics.
A similar pattern has been noted in girls who are overweight: 8.6%, 11.9% and 32%, in the same time period respectively.
Nestlé’s Healthy Kids programme, in partnership with NGOs, aims to promote physical activities and healthy nutrition to schoolchildren through the following actions: A body composition and eating habits evaluation led by a nutritionist (BMI), focusing on the diet and physical activity of each participating child, and social support (on demand).
The programme Nestlé Nutrir Crianças Saudáveis was launched to help prevent obesity and malnutrition in youngsters and teenagers aged six to 17.
The initiative, which focuses on nutrition, education and physical activity, started as a volunteer programme in 1999 teaching low-income children about good nutrition through games, puppet theatres and cooking.
In 2009 Nutrir started a partnership with the Fernanda Keller Institute in order to promote a healthy lifestyle to schoolchildren through nutrition and physical education. This was the beginning for Nutrir in Brazil, which was expanded in 2012 to three other NGOs: Bairro da Juventude, Bola pra Frente Institute and Casa do Zezinho.
Its main objective is to combat childhood obesity. It combines nutritional counselling, individual meal plans, physical education, educational activities, and help for families whose children are diagnosed with obesity.
Value to Society
In partnership with NGOs, Nutrir benefited 2,442 children, whom had their BMI monitored in 2014. It also impacted on more than 600 families in the same period.
The children are treated by a special group of specialists to create an understanding about their specific care, healthy eating habits and physical education activities. They take part in educational activities, which aims to teach them about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Value to Nestlé
The programme establishes a global competitive advantage and demonstrates Nestlé’s commitment to address health issues globally. It has a positive impact on Nestlé’s reputation as a leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company.
In the next few years, the programme aims to strengthen its methodology through social technology and will be made available to any organisation that wishes to tackle childhood obesity issues.