Jan 13, 2014, updated January 2014
Nestlé launched its Chinese Children’s Nutrition & Health Education Program – Nestlé Healthy Kids Program in 2010 to counteract the dual nutrition challenge that China is currently facing.
Although nutrition in the country has improved over the years, there has also been an increase in obesity. At the same time, the lack of vital micronutrients such as calcium and iron is causing anaemia, especially for children in rural areas.
In larger Chinese cities, the percentage of overweight or obese children aged between seven to 12 is nearly a quarter for boys and 15% for girls, according to the fourth national citizen’s nutrition and health situation survey in China.
Among those aged between six to 17, about 12.7% suffer from anaemia, and 2.9% of those aged six to 12 lack vitamin A.
Rural children are three times more likely to be underweight and prone to stunted growth compared to urban children. Statistics also revealed that about 13.8% of rural children aged between aged 6-12 have anaemia and 10.4% lack vitamin A.
Nestlé launched its Healthy Kids Program as part of the Chinese Children’s Nutrition & Health Education Program.
In partnership with the Chinese Nutrition Society, it aims improve the nutrition, health and wellness of children aged six to 12 in urban and rural areas in China.
After its launch in Beijing it was soon extended to Shanghai, Sichuan, Shandong, Liaoning, Shanxi, Yunnan, Guangdong, and Guizhou.
The company is also working in partnership with the experts from the National Institute for Nutrition and Food Safety of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Through nutrition education on balanced diets, physical activity, and healthy lifestyles, Nestlé is helping to teach primary school pupils about nutritional health in order to establish healthy eating habits from a young age.
To do this, local teachers have been trained on nutrition and health issues.
They are using various teaching materials and teaching aids to help children understand the importance of good nutrition and increase their physical activity daily.
To make it more fun, nutrition games and activities such as painting competitions have been organised in schools.
A new Healthy Kids website was also officially launched in 2013 as a useful tool to reach more children in China.
To boost physical activity, exercise routines took place during class breaks and health workshops.
Value to Society
The Chinese Children’s Nutrition & Health Education Program – Nestlé Healthy Kids Program has reached over 865,000 children and about 27,000 teachers in ten cities and 50 rural counties.
It has recently made an impact on about 1,600 children, teachers and parents at the Beijing Yucai School this year.
Parents are also benefiting from the programme by learning how to teach healthy eating habits to their children.
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.
Nestlé aims to extend its current healthcare partnerships to educational authorities, and explore the possibility of establishing systematic nutrition education in primary schools.
The company intends to scale up the Nestlé Healthy Kids Program to reach over one million children aged between six and 12.
It also seeks to include more employee and volunteer activities.