Sep 18, 2012, updated September 2012
The global prevalence of obesity, particularly among children, has dramatically increased over the last 20 years.
Due to its many causes and influencing factors, a multi-stakeholder approach involving large-scale community and school-based initiatives is often required.
Nestlé has developed or sponsored many such education and intervention programmes, many of them directed through schools. One particular nutrition education programme (Fleurbaix Laventie Ville Santé) in two villages in Northern France has been supported by Nestlé France since 1992. Results have showed that children on the programme had better nutritional knowledge and childhood obesity had not increased significantly, whereas it had doubled in “control” towns.
In 2004, the project developed into EPODE (Ensemble, Prévenons l’Obésité Des Enfants / Together, Let’s Prevent Childhood Obesity), a community intervention programme aimed at the prevention obesity in children. The programme, which Nestlé France still supports, promotes regular physical activity, walk-to-school groups and healthy diets through posters, factsheets, newsletters, workshops and menus.
Value to Society
The EPODE programme has since been expanded to 167 towns in France, 30 cities in Spain (under the “THAO Salud Infantil” banner and supported by Nestlé Spain) and eight in Belgium (as “Viasano”). It now covers a population of 2.5 million people across Europe. Discussions are also underway in other European countries such as Greece, and in Australia and Canada.
With the support of the European Commission, Nestlé has committed € 525,000 to the pan-European EPODE Network (EEN) project, from 2007 to 2010, which aims to facilitate the implementation of EPODE-like community intervention programmes across Europe. More information on www.epode-european-network.com
EPODE is part of a larger global commitment by the company, called Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Programme. The objective of the programme is to raise nutrition, health and wellness awareness among school age children around the world. Nestlé believes that education is the most powerful tool for ensuring that children understand the value of nutrition and physical activity for their health through the course of their lives.
Value to Nestlé