Aug 14, 2015, updated August 2015
The very start of our lives, specifically the first 1 000 days (from conception to two years of age), is a unique period that is crucial to achieving our optimal potential.
The Nestlé Start Healthy, Stay Healthy programme is designed to provide support for mothers and caregivers to ensure they get nutrition right in these first 1 000 days. This includes information for mothers on healthy nutritional choices during pregnancy to help prevent high birth weight in new-borns, as well as promoting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life.
Our Start Healthy Stay Healthy campaign promotes science-based medical advice on how to make the first 1 000 days healthier, including telling parents and caregivers about the importance of breastfeeding.
During Breastfeeding Week in August 2014, Nestlé India launched a social media campaign to reinforce the importance of breastfeeding. Featuring the animated, rapping Super Babies, the 2014 campaign aimed to go beyond the half a million pledges generated the previous year, by taking public support and converting it into an action through discussion on the benefits of breastfeeding and involving the public at large.
By the end of 2014, the Super Babies video had been watched more than two million times.
Value to Society
Infants and children who experience undernutrition in their early years can struggle in school, as poor nutrition can reduce IQ (intelligence quotient) by 5–25 points, while the increased risk of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes can affect their productivity as working adults. Such impacts can reduce lifetime earnings by more than 10% and, in some countries, has resulted in a 2%–3% reduction in GDP.
Value to Nestlé
Nestlé is committed to helping our consumers reach and maintain optimal nutrition and health throughout their lives as we believe that over the long term, healthy populations, healthy economies and healthy business performance are mutually reinforcing.
We believe breast-milk is the best food for infants and this is why we promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. However, there are still numerous barriers to breastfeeding. In consultation with their healthcare providers, if mothers and families decide that optimal breastfeeding is not possible, infant formula – the only suitable breast-milk substitute (BMS) recognised by the WHO– plays a vital role in providing essential nutrients to infants.
We are committed to marketing BMS responsibly. We comply with the WHO Code as implemented by governments as a minimum, and apply our policy when it is stricter than the national legislations. We pledge to follow the most rigorous policies and systems to monitor our practices. As we seek to continuously improve, we encourage stakeholders to share their comments with us. In 2015, we will continue to engage with key stakeholders to increase collaboration, promote responsible conduct and establish an accepted standard for assessing BMS commercialisation.