World Heart Day

To Press Releases listSep 29, 2016

Promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles: How we’re doing this

‘Good Food, Good Life’ is the commitment we make to consumers in Central and West Africa and worldwide.

We aim to meet this pledge by encouraging healthy eating and promoting active lifestyles among children and adults.

Achieving better health and overall well-being needs a fundamental understanding of what good nutrition means, but this is something that many people don’t know.

The rising rates of non-communicable diseases such as stroke, cancer and diabetes, are affecting the health and well-being of Africans across the region due to unhealthy diets and physical inactivity. 

At Nestlé, we aim to address these health issues by promoting healthier lifestyles and providing nutritious food and beverages. Our efforts focus on the importance of World Heart Day on September 29, to inform people that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death, which claim over 17 million lives each year.

In Central and West Africa, we are:

  1. 1) Promoting healthy diets and lifestyles, including physical activity

We’re running the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal to teach schoolchildren about healthy lifestyles. We’re working with our partners, universities and the Ministries of Health and Education in each country to leverage the initiative. So far, we’ve reached about 82,000 children and 1,200 teachers in CWAR. We look to impact 100,000 children by 2018.

Through our brand Maggi we’re engaging with millions of Africans across the region. Our Maggi Cooking Caravans travelled through five countries last year, reaching over one million women and Maggi mammies through cooking demonstrations, forums and discussions. In Nigeria, we reached over 15,000 women through the Maggi home garden initiative to teach women about the importance of nutrition, health and wellness through activities such as cultivating home-grown vegetables.

In 2015, we launched the ‘Healthy Living Africa’ campaign on our social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, using a different theme each week to help people cut salt in their diets. We reached 11 million people through the use of messages, videos and hashtags such as #DidYouKnow and #HealthyLivingAfrica.

In the same period, we launched a salt campaign in Cameroon on the health risks of excessive salt consumption. As part of the campaign, mobile caravans travelled across the country, community health workers went door-to-door to raise awareness, TV and radio programmes were broadcast, and posters were displayed in urban areas and healthcare centres.

Since 2010, we’ve been working with the Ministry of Cameroon to improve the nutritional status of people in the country by running workshops on food fortification and non-communicable diseases. We are also raising awareness on health topics such as hypertension and diabetes among Nestlé employees. Diabetes and cholesterol testing are currently running at our sites in the region.

We’re inspiring young people to get into sport through our brand Milo. In Ghana, we head the Milo Marathon, organised in two legs. In this year’s edition, over 7,000 athletes competed in the first 42.2km race. In the 5km non-competitive fun race, we promoted sport by pledging to distribute 4,000 pairs of shoes to underprivileged youngsters in rural communities in Ghana for every runner who crossed the finish line, in partnership with Ghana Education Services. We also head the Milo Champions League for 36,000 students. In Nigeria, we run the Milo Secondary Basketball Championship and Milo Football Clinic for girls and boys aged nine to 13.

  1. 2) Providing high-quality, safe, nutritious food and beverages

We’re enhancing nutritional value, while improving the taste of our product portfolio. In 2015, 100% of our products in the region were assessed and met all of the all of the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation (NF) criteria in providing nutritionally sound products for children, including the criteria for salt, sugars and saturated fats. We aim to continue to meet these criteria in the future for all our products for children.

We’re renovating and innovating our products such as cereal brand Golden Morn to reduce salt without compromising on taste. In 2015, we released a new recipe, which is now 14% lower in salt to achieve NF criteria.