Apr 10, 2014, updated April 2014
Nestlé launched its pilot Healthy Kids Programme in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as a nutrition awareness initiative to help tackle the region’s “silent emergency” of malnutrition, a serious condition that results from a lack of the right amount of nutrients.
In India, malnutrition in children under the age of five is among the highest in the world, according to The World Bank.
The international financial institution revealed startling statistics about the prevalent problem in the country, in which nearly half of India’s children are underweight, 45% are stunted, and a fifth suffer from the condition.
Figures also showed that three quarters of Indian children are anaemic, and over half are lacking in vitamin A.
A survey by Nestlé India and the Punjab Agricultural University highlighted that one of the major challenges in the country is a lack of awareness about what good nutrition really means.
To help address this, the pilot Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme was launched in India in 2009.
It aimed to create and raise awareness on good nutritional practices, healthy lifestyles and greater physical activity among students aged 13-17 based around Nestlé’s factory locations.
Nestlé focused on teenage girls in this age group to address their increased nutritional requirements during this important phase.
It also set out to provide education and expertise on good food nutrition and boost physical exercise choices to help the teenagers educate their own families in the future.
Nestlé supported seven universities in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to conduct the programme across the region, encouraging nutrition education and physical activity.
Training material was produced in six local languages including: English, Hindi, Bangla, Sinhalese, Kannada, and Punjabi.
Value to Society
Nestlé’s Healthy Kids Programme has reached more than 41,000 students in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Each student took part in about 12 hours of nutrition awareness training spread across six weeks.
This amounts to a total of more than 492,000 hours of training completed in the region.
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 Healthy Kids Programme has been extended to reach students in Tahliwal, India, where Nestlé’s latest factory is based. This was achieved through a partnership with Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University in the Indian town of Palampur in 2013.
Nestlé aims to strengthen the evaluation process of the programme by focusing on data to increase its nutrition education knowledge and practices.