3-Year Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme Concluded with Improvement in Students’ Eating Habits

Nestlé Hong Kong and CUHK Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion Announced Further Partnership to Continue Promoting Children Health
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As the world’s leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company, Nestlé is committed to helping 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030. Among the relevant initiatives, the Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme (“Programme”) aims to support children to establish healthy dietary habits and lifestyle. Nestlé Hong Kong has joined forces with the Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion (“Centre”) of the Chinese University of Hog Kong since 2017 to launch the first three-year Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme in six primary schools in Hong Kong, benefiting over 500 students.

Photo caption: Nestlé Hong Kong has joined forces with CUHK Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion since 2017 to launch the Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme in Hong Kong. The above photos refer to the launch event of the Programme.

Concluding the Programme in 2017-2020, Nestlé Hong Kong and the Centre are delighted to observe a significant improvement in the students’ dietary and health habits, which reflected the effectiveness of various school-based education activities, themed with healthy eating and active lifestyle, in enhancing students’ health.

In view of the positive results, Nestlé Hong Kong and the Centre are happy to announce a further partnership on the second Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme in the upcoming three years, expecting to enhance the nutrition and health of more students.

Concluding the three-year experience: students’ consumption of vegetables and fruits increased and that of crispy snacks decreased, while there was still room for improvement for building exercise habits

During the Programme period, the Centre collaborated with participating schools to organize 30 education activities, such as “Fruity Party” and “Fun Sports in Lunch Recess”, etc, across the critical growth period of the participating students when they were in primary four to six. The Centre also conducted annual health survey and fitness test for the students to gather baseline, interim and final data for reference and follow-up for the effectiveness of the Programme.

Photo caption: Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme organized various activities for students, kept enhancing their knowledge on nutrition and health as well as helping them lead healthier lives.

The health survey covered multiple health aspects including diets, physical and sedentary activities, sleeping habits, life satisfaction. In the aspect for consumption of vegetables and fruits, the survey results showed that after experiencing different activities of the Programme, the number of students who could daily consume a sufficient level of vegetables and fruits as recommended by the Department of Health significantly increased in the second year of the Programme that 47.2% students consumed at least two portions of vegetables and 71.3% of them consumed at least two portions of fruits. Moreover, the number of students who took less crispy snacks significantly decreased that 91.6% students consumed crispy snacks for less than four times a week. An improvement trend was also observed for the consumption of candies and chocolate that 83.1% students ate candies and chocolate for less than four times a week.

Considering the habits of physical activities, the survey results showed that with the motivation of the Programme, there has been significantly higher proportion of students doing at-least-60-min moderate to vigorous-intensity activities for 3 to 6 days, reaching 45.7% in the second year of the Programme. However, due to the lengthened home time during the pandemic, the proportion of students who could achieve the amount of exercise recommended by the World Health Organization decreased to 10% only, reflecting that the students were doing severely insufficient amount of exercise and there was much room for improvement. The fitness test results of the Programme also showed that students who conducted fewer than two hours of sedentary activities performed better in sit-ups and nine-minute run and they were with more appropriate waist circumference. This reflected that students should increase their level of exercise for a better physical fitness.

The above mentioned survey also analyzed the behaviours of overweight students during the Programme. The Centre noticed that there were significantly more overweight students that could consume at least two portions of vegetables and fruits in the second year as well as daily doing at least 60 mins of moderate to vigorous-intensity activities. This demonstrated that the Programme helped to enhance the health awareness of the overweight group and brought positive impact to them.

In addition to diets and exercise, teenagers’ emotional health is also one of the concerns for a healthy development. During the Programme, there has been a significant upward trend for the proportion of students having a positive emotion. The proportion of students who felt very happy or happy increased from 62.2% in Year 1 to 70.5% in Year 3. A past study revealed that an association exists between diet patterns and mental health in children and adolescents. The Centre believes that the above change in the students’ emotion was not only due to their limited school life during the pandemic, but also due to their healthier lifestyle established during the Programme, which enabled them to maintain mental wellness even in the pandemic.

Reviewing the above results in overall, Professor Albert Lee, Director of the Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion of the Chinese University of Hog Kong, shared, “Our experience of implementing the Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme demonstrated that the continuous provision of health knowledge on diets and an active lifestyle to students with a school-intervention approach was able to elevate their knowledge level as well as inspiring their positive behavioral change. Meanwhile, the participation of parents and teachers helped to motivate the students to maintain a good lifestyle. During the three years of the Programme, we were encouraged to receive warm support and positive feedback from the participating schools. We recommend wider schools and parents to take reference to our experience in the Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme to enrich children’s school and family life with elements of healthy eating and regular exercise, so as to nurture more healthier kids.”

1The World Health Organization recommends that children and adolescents aged 5-17 should do at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous-intensity activities across the week.
 

The way forward: Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme will be continued with joint efforts between the company and the institutions to enhance students’ health

Ms. May Chung, General Manager of Nestlé Hong Kong Limited, said, “Nestlé Hong Kong is committed to creating shared value for the society. In addition to providing consumers with quality food products, we also actively promote nutrition and health. We are glad to see that Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme is delivering a positive impact in Hong Kong, enabling us to help students establish a healthy lifestyle and become a good partner for parents and teachers on their way to nurture healthy kids. Looking into the future, we expect to collaborate with more schools and partners to help more kids lead healthier lives.”

Nestlé Hong Kong is pleased to announce that the company will sustain the partnership with the Centre to launch the second Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme. The Programme will expand its footprint to 10 primary schools from which around 800 primary four students, as well as their parents and teachers, will participate. The Centre will also continue to organize a wide variety of school-based and community activities, and accelerate the interactions with participants via strengthened online engagements, to provide them health education on nutrition and exercise, thus to elevate their knowledge, nutrition and health, supporting them to establish a lifestyle that benefits their life-long wellness. Furthermore, the Centre will continue to follow up and keep track of the life habits and physical fitness of the participating students across their life stages of primary four to six, in hopes of understanding their change during the Programme, which will be a reference for implementing the activities more appropriately and better addressing the health needs of the students.

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About Nestlé Hong Kong

Nestlé originated from Switzerland in 1866, today it has grown to be the leading company in promoting Nutrition, Health and Wellness. Nestlé’s purpose is “unlock the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come”. As early as the 19th century, Nestlé introduced high-quality products to Hong Kong and imported the products through different trade channels. In 1874, NESTLÉ’S EAGLE BRAND® condensed milk was granted as the first trademark in Hong Kong. Today, Nestle Hong Kong has become one of the leading food and beverage companies in Hong Kong and our diversified range of businesses include dairy products, yoghurt products, cereal breakfast, baby and toddler food, coffee, bottled and canned beverage, confectionary, ice cream and chilled desserts, soya products, culinary, pet care and healthcare nutrition product etc. The wide range of products provide consumers with options for nutrition, healthy and safe product of high quality.

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