Feb 4, 2014, updated February 2014
The Nestlé UK Healthy Kids Network programme was launched to promote healthy eating habits and boost physical activity to children aged six to 11 in the United Kingdom.
The prevalence of obesity is a growing problem among the UK population, especially children.
About one in seven youngsters are classified as obese, according to the National Health Service in the UK.
Recent statistics from the World Health Organization have also shown that over a quarter of women aged 20 and above are obese. In the same age bracket, a similar percentage of men suffer from obesity.
The condition is used to describe being overweight with a high degree of body fat, which can increase the risk of developing a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer, and stroke.
To address this worrying issue, the Nestlé UK Healthy Kids Network programme was introduced in the UK in 2012.
It is a curriculum-based initiative that provides healthy lifestyle lesson plans and resources to primary schools within Nestlé UK’s communities.
As part of the Nestlé UK Healthy Kids Network programme, primary school teachers and teaching assistants help to deliver lesson plans and resources on all aspects of healthy eating, nutrition, and physical activity every week of the school year.
The programme was launched in partnership with PhunkyFoods , an early years and primary school programme that focuses on healthy lifestyle curriculum activities, lesson plans and resources. It is endorsed by the UK Department of Health's ‘Change for Life’ initiative that addresses obesity in the country.
The PhunkyFoods programme also received a Health and Wellbeing award from the Royal Society of Public Health in 2013.
In line with national guidelines, the Nestlé UK Healthy Kids Network programme is overseen by a steering committee made up of PhunkyFoods representatives, teachers, and non-governmental organizations.
Nestlé is also supporting a large-scale research project led by Leeds Metropolitan University to measure the impact of regular healthy lifestyle lessons on children’s health. The results are due in September 2014.
Value to Society
To date, about 20,832 children in 224 schools have benefited from the nutrition and physical education aspects of the Nestlé UK Healthy Kids Network 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.
The Nestlé UK Healthy Kids Network programme aims to reach a total of 76,000 children in 339 primary schools across the UK before the end of 2015.
Nestlé looks to boost the initiative by developing new programme materials.
Nutritionists are also being hired to support the roll out of the programme to schools in other local communities close to Nestlé UK sites.