Nestlé Joins Hands with Ministry of Education Encouraging Children to Adopt Healthy Lifestyles

To Press Releases listPutrajaya,Mar 3, 2015

Nestlé Joins Hands with Ministry of Education Encouraging Children to Adopt Healthy Lifestyles
Over 4,000 students from secondary day boarding schools across Malaysia are now more aware of the importance of healthy lifestyles, as a result of the positive impact of Nestlé Malaysia’s ‘Program Cara Hidup Sihat’ (PCHS), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

PCHS is an initiative under the Nestlé Healthy Kids (NHK) Global Programme. As part of Nestlé’s drive to implement the programme in 80 countries by 2015, NHK was first launched in Malaysia in 2010 in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Malaysia and the Nutrition Society of Malaysia. In Malaysia, the programme consists of two components: the primary school programme, known as the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme and the secondary school programme, Program Cara Hidup Sihat. To date, the NHK Programme in Malaysia has benefitted approximately 10,000 students nationwide.

PCHS is a three-year intervention programme which took place from 2012 to 2014 and was aimed at enhancing knowledge on nutrition and encouraging physical activity among lower secondary school students.

A total of 100 day boarding schools nationwide participated in PCHS. During the programme, an intervention module known as HEBAT (Healthy Eating and Be Active among Teens) was implemented, comprising 10 topics encompassing areas of nutrition and physical activity.

Moreover, PCHS was a holistic programme which also reached out to teachers, wardens, hostel chief cooks, canteen operators, as well as student affairs assistants. Train-the-Trainer Workshops were held before the programme with the aim of providing knowledge and hands-on preparation on the HEBAT module. In addition, Food Operators’ Workshops were organised to demonstrate healthier ways to prepare Malaysian dishes and to educate teachers, canteen owners and chief cooks on food hygiene and safety.

At the end of the programme, intervention results by UPM’s research team showed that PCHS was highly effective among the students. The results revealed that the knowledge and practice of healthy lifestyles had significantly improved among the participants who began embracing better dietary habits and leading higher levels of physical activity. The prevalence of obesity also significantly decreased in students in the intervention group.

With the official conclusion of ‘Program Cara Hidup Sihat’ in today’s closing ceremony, the top 10 best-performing schools were rewarded for their achievements. Y.B. Tuan P. Kalamanathan a/l P. Panchanathan, Deputy Minister of Education II, Ministry of Education Malaysia, was on hand to present the awards to the winning schools. Also present were Mr Alois Hofbauer, Managing Director of Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad, Professor Dr.-Ing. Ir. Renuganth Varatharajoo, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Industry & Community Relations of University Putra Malaysia, Tuan Haji Mohamed Yamin Bin Mohamed Yusof, Deputy Director of School Management Division, Ministry of Education Malaysia and Dr. Tee E Siong, Chairman, Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme Expert Committee and President, Nutrition Society of Malaysia.

Y.B. Tuan P. Kalamanathan commented, “Given the rising non-communicable diseases and obesity rates in Malaysia, particularly childhood obesity, this is indeed a timely and laudable platform. PCHS has successfully brought together teachers, parents, students and food operators who have been able to benefit from the expertise and collective efforts of the strategic smart partnership between Nestlé Malaysia, UPM, NSM and the Ministry of Education Malaysia.”

“Through PCHS, these schools have been empowered to facilitate their students’ awareness and understanding about the importance of nutrition, health and wellness. The Ministry of Education Malaysia is pleased to be part of this dynamic collaboration. Partnerships between the private and public sectors is a progressive step for education and we look forward to similar initiatives in the future,” added Y.B. Tuan P. Kalamanathan a/l P. Panchanathan.

Each of the top 10 best-performing schools received an outdoor gym installation set worth RM15,000, as an incentive to continue to encourage their students to embrace healthy living habits. Assessments were made based on attendance rates of students for PCHS sessions, changes in body weight status as well as students’ overall understanding on healthy living. The participating students were also thrilled to learn that their health-conscious efforts had paid off.

Mr Hofbauer said, “As a leader in Nutrition, Health and Wellness, Nestlé supports the Government’s commitment to encouraging healthy lifestyles amongst Malaysians, especially school-going children. As Malaysia continues to develop, we believe that good nutrition will play an increasingly important role and as such, we are very pleased with the success of Program Cara Hidup Sihat.”

“As a result of this programme, we have succeeded in bringing positive changes to over 4,000 young Malaysians. As a next step, we hope to share this intervention approach and encouraging research results with the Ministry of Education Malaysia to roll out this programme to more schools throughout Malaysia,” concluded Mr Hofbauer.

During the prize giving ceremony, the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme ( revamped website was also officially unveiled. The NHK website contains educational tools and interactive games to educate both parents and children on healthy eating and leading active lifestyles.

The NHK Programme is in line with the philosophy of Creating Shared Value, Nestlé’s way of doing business. Nestlé believes that in order to create long-term value for the company, it must also create value for the society at the same time.

For more information, please contact:

Zainun Nur Abdul Rauf
Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad
Tel: (+603) 7965 6445

Yasmin Kadir or Joanne Lim
acorn communications
Tel: (+603) 7958 8348

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