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Nestlé Steps Up Efforts to Help Reduce Childhood Obesity in the US

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Nestlé Steps Up Efforts to Help Reduce Childhood Obesity in the US

Nestlé Steps Up Efforts to Help Reduce Childhood Obesity in the US
January 28
14:46 2013

A Nestlé programme in the city of Newark in the United States that teaches parents of young children the fundamentals of good nutrition is to be expanded. ‘Nestlé/Newark Now!’, which was launched in 2012 will reach twice as many families in year two. Some of the mothers and other women who went through the first programme will become ‘peer educators’.

In Newark, nearly one third of children aged 3-5 year old are classified at obese – three times theUSnational average. ‘Nestlé/Newark Now!’ has been designed to try to address this.

The programme, run by Nestle and the community organization Newark Now!, helps fill a gap in nutrition education that occurs after the first year of post-natal doctor visits and before the child reached school age.

A bilingual public health nutritionist leads the sessions in community centres aroundNewark. Fifty-five families took part in the first year, learning about the importance of breast feeding, how to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, healthy snacking, dealing with fussy eaters, portion control and physical activity.

Starting in March, parents and other women who were picked to become peer educators will begin sharing their knowledge with hundreds more families.

The ‘Nestlé/Newark Now!’ curriculum draws on the finding of the Nestle Food Infants & Toddlers Study. FITS studied the dietary habits and nutrient intake of 3,200 infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers, making it one of the largest, most comprehensive studies of its kind in the US.

The study found that children as young as 12-24 months were beginning to develop unhealthy dietary patterns that may lead to childhood obesity. The study also revealed fruit and vegetables were lacking in children’s diets.

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