Nestl? commits to expand its Nestl? Healthy Kids in Brazil Program (Nestl? Nutrir Crian?as Saud?veis) with the objective of raising nutrition and health knowledge and promoting physical activity among 1 million more school-age children in Brazil.
Nutrition, education and physical activity are the conceptual pillars of Nestl?'s Nutrir Crian?as Saud?veis initiative to prevent childhood and adolescent obesity and malnutrition.
From its early development through volunteer efforts in 1999, the program has expanded greatly. In its 15 years, Nestl? Nutrir has strengthened the capacity of 17,200 educators and has reached 1.9 million children in 6,800 schools and organizations throughout Brazil.
The program is based on four pillars:
Nestl? Volunteering: promotes and strengthens the opportunities for participation among the company's employees, with the mission of promoting healthy eating habits, hygiene, water safety and environment care to children.
Capacity Building: reinforces the program's alignment with public policies focused on healthy eating habits for children, and offers training for cafeteria workers, teachers, principals and nutritionists in public schools in partnership with municipal secretaries of education.
Qualitative Prevention: develops obesity and malnutrition prevention activities through partner organizations that include Instituto Bola Pra Frente, Instituto Fernanda Keller, Casa do Zezinho and Bairro da Juventude.
Global Partnership with IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations): With the support to the 'Mini-Athletics' of the Brazilian Confederation of Athletics, this initiative aims at offering children attractive, accessible and instructive athletics practices.
The program also recognizes and rewards the practical actions in nutritional education of participating public schools in each municipality with the annual Nestl? Nutrir award.
The action plan for this commitment consists of three main stages each every year:
Stage 1 (First 3 to 6 months): Nestl? will present the Nutrir Program to the Municipal Board of Education of the cities of Araras, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo and in partnership identify the schools to be incorporated, and develop a tailored agenda for each school.
Stage 2 (end of Third Quarter): The program will begin the implementation process in each of the schools selected for that year, starting with capacity building, for which trainers will be provided to all schools, to design specific nutrition projects.
Stage 3 (year-end): Evaluate the performance and progress of all participating schools across the program and incorporate this information to present the Nestl? Nutrir Award to one school in each municipality.
As Brazil continues to grow, poverty and inequality remain relevant issues, impacting all areas of life. Children across Brazil suffer a disproportionate amount from this inequality. The lack of access to proper nutrition is manifested in two distinct malnutrition disorders: children are either underweight or suffer from obesity, both of which can have a negative impact in their development process.
According to the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) Household Income Research for 2009 4.3% of boys and 3.9% of girls between ages 5 to 9 were underweight, and 16.6% of boys and 11.8% of girls suffered from obesity. Encouragingly, the rate of underweight children between the ages of 5 to 9 has decreased from 5% in the 1970s. Despite this positive impact on one side, the lack of proper nutritional education has caused a significant increase in obesity levels which is evident when compared to rates for 1974 well under 3% for children in the same age group. Overall, according to the Ministry of Health, 51% of the general Brazilian population is overweight.
Nestlé currently seeks endorsements for Nutrir Program (e.g., medical associations/societies, Ministry of Health or Education). The endorsement will open more opportunities and support Nutrir expand the Program to more schools and children.