Nestlé Healthy Kids intervention study shows encouraging first year results
Launched in August 2010 by Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad and implemented in collaboration with the Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM), the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme is a three-year intervention initiative aimed at improving nutrition knowledge and promoting healthy lifestyle among schoolchildren.
Presenting the results of the Intervention Study was Dr. Tee E. Siong, President of NSM who is also the Chairman of the Expert Committee for the NHK Programme, at the NHK Parents-Teachers Workshop, organised by Nestlé Malaysia. He revealed that about one-third of the children increased in their knowledge score in all the 6 education modules related to nutrition and health that were taught to them. These encouraging results obtained at the end of the first year of implementation indicate that the children had learned from the programme.
Parents and teachers attending the workshop were also told that the children showed improvements in healthy practices with more pupils opting for 'healthier' food choices, compared to the beginning of the programme.
"The implementation of the NHK Programme is timely, as the public and Government are currently extremely concerned by the increasing incidences of Non-Communicable Diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This means it is all the more imperative for us to not only ensure that our products help alleviate these problems, but also to actively promote healthy eating habits and lifestyles among consumers," said Puan Zainun Nur Abdul Rauf, Nestlé Executive Director of Human Resource and Group Corporate Affairs.
"Nestlé is contributing to the knowledge of nutrition by using education as a tool to help young children understand the value of nutrition and physical activity, which will empower them to make the right choices relating to healthy eating habits and lifestyles," she added.
Dr. Tee's presentation was followed by a panel discussion by nutrition experts, Prof. Dr. Norimah A. Karim, Vice President of Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity, Dr. Zawiah Hashim, one of the Council Member of the Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity and Dr. Chin Yit Siew from Universiti Putra Malaysia's Department of Nutrition and Dietetics in its Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Parents and teachers were also given a preview of the 2012 modules and the opportunity to provide feedback about the programme. In addition to that, there was also a cooking demonstration by celebrity Chef Florence Tan, who showed them simple ways to prepare nutritious food for their children.
The NHK Programme is in line with the Nestlé business philosophy of Creating Shared Value. The Company believes that it needs to provide value not only for its shareholders but also the community it operates in, to ensure the long term success of the Company. The three focus areas for Creating Shared Value for Nestlé are: Nutrition, Water and Rural Development.
NSM supports efforts in promoting healthy nutrition in the society to combat nutrient deficiencies and diet-related chronic diseases in the country, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease. NSM continuously disseminates practical nutrition information to the public and guides them to discover the benefits of good nutrition and an active lifestyle.
The NHK Programme is divided into two-prongs: the awareness component to reach out to masses; and the research component – a longitudinal intervention study to develop, implement and evaluate effectiveness of educational modules. The ultimate goal at the end of the three-year project would be to have developed an educational module that the Ministry of Education can utilise for implementation in primary schools in the country. The Programme has reached out to approximately 2,600 students between the age of seven to twelve years old through workshops, roadshows and intervention programmes. For further information on the programme, consumers may log on to the website.