Nestlé to heighten awareness of childhood obesity
Six to 16-year-olds will learn that obesity is a disease which they can control by making good food choices and exercising frequently. Nestlé, the global leader in nutrition, health and wellness, will raise awareness of this growing health concern at the sixth staging of its Nestlé Schools Wellness Fiesta, scheduled for May 14-15, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.
The two-day symposium kicks off at 9 a.m. daily, is free to the public, and will be hosted under the theme 'Preventing Childhood Obesity Begins With Me'.
"The theme was specially crafted to drive responsibility and action into our kids, so that they become aware that their health and future is in their hands," said Shawna Kidd, corporate communications and consumer services manager, Nestlé Jamaica.
The objectives of the Nestlé Schools Wellness Fiesta are three-fold. First, to raise nutrition health and wellness awareness among students, teachers and parents. Second, to promote physical activity among school-aged children. Third, to positively impact the lives of children today so they grow into healthy adults tomorrow,
"Obesity is a serious problem that is affecting the population with growing rates among our children with greater prevalence in girls. One of the major causes of obesity is improper/bad dietary habits and sedentary lifestyles. Nestlé will leverage the Schools Wellness Fiesta to educate students on the issues and the solutions," she said.
"It is one of the most important initiatives Nestlé Jamaica has launched over the years and happens in a fun-filled, energetic environment that inspires participation, learning and information sharing."
Nestlé Schools Wellness Fiesta takes the form of a competition among primary and secondary schools and includes the following components - booth displays encompassing the theme; Nestlé cooking lab and etiquette corner; rhythmic skipping competitions; Smart Readers reading programme (partnership with the Jamaica Library Service); MILO Energy Zone; free health checks (partnership with the Heart Foundation of Jamaica); and nutritional counselling (partnership with the Nutrition and Dietetics Department at the University of Technology).
"The Nestlé Schools Wellness Fiesta forms an integral part of Nestlé's creating shared-value approach to doing business," noted Jurg Blaser, country manager, Nestle.
"We believe that with increased awareness, improved knowledge and effective practice of healthy eating, combined with physical exercise, our children and our nation will be healthier and more productive. It is a win-win situation. We create value for society, which, in turn, creates value for Nestlé. We are definitely more successful in a healthier environment."
Last year, 28 schools across the primary and secondary levels participated for great prizes. Schools can contact Nestlé's consumer-services department or call its contact centre for more information.