Addressing childhood obesity in the United States

Oct 24, 2012
EATING HABITS: More families will be able to find practical advice to help them adopt a healthy diet.

Addressing childhood obesity in the United States

Nestlé backs healthy childhood weight initiative in the United States

More families in the United States will be able to find practical information and advice to help them adopt a healthier diet and lifestyle as Nestlé supports the creation of a new organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.

The ‘Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight’, established by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), will produce clear, accessible resources for health professionals, communities and parents, based on government policies and scientific evidence.

Nestlé is the founding sponsor of the institute, which will also be funded and supported by a range of government and other sources.

First 1,000 days

“Many organizations in the United States are currently playing vital roles in combating the global epidemic of childhood obesity,” said Dr José Saavedra, Medical Director for Nestlé Nutrition in the United States.

“The Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight will fill an important gap by focusing on the need to establish healthy feeding and dietary patterns in the first 1,000 days of life.

“By contributing our support and expertise to this initiative, we aim to help the AAP leverage its unique ability to promote behaviors that lead to healthy childhood weights and lifelong well-being,” he added.

Extending collaboration

Nestlé’s collaboration with the AAP is a natural extension of the work it has undertaken with the organization over the past three years.

The company supported research which led to the development of the AAP’s ‘Healthy Active Living for Families’ (HALF) program, designed to enhance the quality of obesity prevention information available to parents.

The program, launched earlier this year, offers evidence-based resources to enable parents to make healthy choices for their children.

These include interactive education features, quizzes and tips, which can be found on the AAP’s website HealthyChildren.org. They are based on research that showed parents of young children preferred to receive information about nutrition and exercise in a simple, online format.

Nestlé also shared data from its ‘Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study’ with the AAP, the United States Department of Agriculture, and other professional organizations that are helping to shape dietary recommendations for infants and toddlers.

Nationwide commitment

The Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight is one of a number of initiatives Nestlé is supporting in the US as part of its commitment to nutrition, health and wellness.

In February, the company announced its participation in a community education program to help reduce childhood obesity in the city of Newark, as well as a similar initiative in the state of Michigan in partnership with the local government.

In June, Nestlé joined scientific and public health experts at the Global Obesity Forum in New York in calling for the creation of more community-based programs to help prevent childhood obesity.

American Academy of Pediatrics

The AAP is a non-profit professional membership organization that connects about 60,000 pediatricians across the United States.

It is involved in a range of activities dedicated to enhancing the physical, mental and social health and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

The AAP has recently developed a new virtual office platform for pediatricians, funded by a grant from United Health Foundation. It offers a range of resources for conducting obesity prevention, assessment, and treatment.

Related information:

American Academy of Pediatrics 

Read more stories about Nestlé’s commitment to helping to address childhood obesity:

Nestlé joins call for more community-based programs to prevent childhood obesity

Gerber launches joint program to combat child obesity

Nestlé Nutrition study reveals children are developing unhealthy eating habits earlier