Oct 19 2010
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Nestle Healthy Kids Global Program Collaborates with American University of Beirut to Enhance Nutrition Awareness & Physical Activity among Schoolchildren in the Middle East
Beirut, 19 October 2010: Both established in 1866, the American University of Beirut ( AUB ) and Nestlé have joined hands 144 years after their mutual birth to help bring a healthier future to the children of the Middle East through the launch of the "Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Program - Ajyal Salima," a coming together of an AUB initiative and a global Nestlé program - Nestlé Healthy Kids - which share the common aim of entrenching nutritional awareness, better eating habits and a more active lifestyle among 9-11 year-old schoolchildren. The collaboration also entails a three-year research aspect, to be conducted by AUB thanks to a grant provided by the Nestlé Healthy Kids Nutrition Research Fund.
Speaking at a signing ceremony - which brought together Nestlé Middle East Chairman & CEO Yves Manghardt, AUB President Dr. Peter Dorman, AUB Provost Dr. Ahmad Dallal, and Dr. Nahla Hwalla, Dean of AUB 's Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences (FAFS) - Hwalla provided examples of growing weight epidemics among the region's children from obesity surveys done by AUB showing the percentage of overweight youths aged 6-19 in Lebanon grew from 20 percent in 1997 to 35 percent in 2008, with a doubling in obesity rates.
"The objective of the Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Program is to raise nutrition, health and wellness awareness of school age children around the world because childhood is the vital stage for promoting obesity prevention, and education is the single most powerful tool for ensuring children understand the value of nutrition and physical activity to their health," said Manghardt.
"Although being overweight should be considered a disease on its own, it is also one of the key risk factors for other conditions including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and some forms of cancer," added Hwalla.
Launched in New York in 2009, it will be progressively unveiled in all countries where Nestlé operates directly, reaching 80 programs by the end of 2011. Already well-established programs include Nestlé's NutriKid in Switzerland, EPODE in France, "Nutrir" in Brazil, and "Good Nutrition" in Russia.
"This collaboration is being done with AUB , the region's leading education and nutrition research institution, which is why it also includes research projects over the coming three years aiming to assess and address nutritional problems in children in the community and implement sound interventions for positive behavioral and lifestyle change," concluded Manghardt.
Implementation varies according to local needs, with the Middle East Program developed as a component of a thesis for PhD completion entitled: "Interventions to promote Healthy eating and Physical activity in Lebanese schoolchildren" by celebrity nutritionist Carla Habib Mourad with advisory guidance from Dr. Hwalla.
"Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Program - Ajyal Salima" involves 12 educational sessions spread over 3-4 months which include interactive learning on nutrition, healthy eating and physical activity; and questionnaires to track improvement. It encourages intake of a balanced and varied diet; fruits and vegetables consumption to 5 or more a day; breakfast and healthy snacks; and regular physical activity; as well as controlling high fat, high sugar intake; and reducing time spent watching TV or on computers. It also involves supporting school snack shops in providing kids with healthier options.
For over 140 years, Nestlé has been applying its nutrition expertise in the development of products that contribute to the health and wellness of consumers, evolving into the world's foremost Nutrition, Health and Wellness company. Headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland, Nestlé currently employs over 286,000 people in 456 factories and operations in almost every country around the globe.
"Good Food, Good Life" is the foundational philosophy upon which Nestlé continues to build an ever-increasing portfolio of quality brands that not only deliver on great taste, but on nutritional value as well. To that end, the company invests around USD 1.5 billion in research and development alone, every year.
Nestlé's portfolio of products includes Infant Nutrition, Milks, Soups, Bottled Water, Confectionery, Coffee, Beverage Creamers, Culinary and Breakfast Cereals.
About Nestlé Middle East:
Following nearly 70 years of success and heritage since its first Middle East operation in Lebanon in the early 1930s, Nestlé Middle East was founded in 1997 in Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai, and now serves as a regional hub to fulfil the needs of the GCC, the Levant, Iran and Iraq markets.
To date, Nestlé has invested more than USD 400 million in the region, owning and operating 17 factories and 37 offices. These capital investments have contributed heavily to creating job opportunities, enhancing technological and manufacturing capabilities, and fostering national economies around the region.
Nestlé's popular brands in the Middle East include NIDO®, CERELAC®, NESCAFÉ®, MAGGI®, NESQUIK®, CHOCAPIC®, NESTLÉ (COUNTRY) CORNFLAKES®, NESTLÉ FITNESS®, CHEERIOS® , NESTLÉ PURE LIFE®, KIT KAT® and QUALITY STREET®.
For more Nestlé Middle East news, please visit www.nestle-family.com/media. You can also follow Nestlé Middle East on Twitter for continuous news updates: http://twitter.com/nestleme
Headline Public Relations
Tel: 9714 - 2289655 Ext: 337
Fax: 9714 - 2282125
© Press Release 2010
© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.
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