Launch of the United for Healthier Kids (U4HK) movement to help parents nurture healthier generations

Nestlé Middle East, MBC Al Amal, and Arabian Radio Network unite for healthier kids in the Middle East

To Press Releases listDubai,Oct 26, 2015

Nestlé Middle East, MBC Al Amal, and the Arabian Radio Network have joined forces to launch United for Healthier Kids (U4HK), with an invitation to everyone to join the movement and contribute towards healthier children. U4HK aims to help parents establish healthier eating, drinking and lifestyle habits for children aged 4-12, and offers game-changing education and fun ideas to inspire action and influence behavior.

“Tackling growing childhood obesity rates must be a priority for all parties concerned with public health in the region, and the drive to do that can certainly benefit from the involvement of as many in the private and public sectors as possible,” said Dr. Nahla Hwalla, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture & Food Sciences at the American University of Beirut, and scientific advisor for U4HK. “International studies show that 30% of obese preschoolers and 40% of obese school children become obese adults1, making obesity reduction all the more vital.”

According to the World Health Organization* (WHO), worldwide obesity has doubled since 1980, which will lead to 42 million children being obese by 2021. And, if current trends continue, the number of overweight or obese children globally will increase to 70 million by 2025.

Established for the sole purpose of positively impacting children’s lives,U4HK will capitalize on the generosity of the Arab culture to offer MORE. It is with this insight that U4HK will be calling on people and entities to promote MORE Movement; MORE Water; MORE Fruits & Vegetables; and MORE Managed Portions – behaviors scientifically proven to positively impact quality of life throughout life if adopted at an early age.

Mazen Hayek, MBC Group’s Official Spokesman said: “The youth are the next generation and leaders of tomorrow. Healthy minds and active bodies are leadership enablers especially when coupled with the right set of skills, knowledge and education”. Hayek further added: “MBC Al Amal is about Hope for a better and brighter future… and that starts with adopting a healthier and active lifestyle”.

“Nestlé is committed to promoting healthy diets and lifestyles, with specific focus on children,” said Yves Manghardt, Chairman and CEO, Nestlé Middle East. “As the world’s leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company, we offer unique expertise to help tackle the diverse nutrition challenges facing people in the region, and we have the capacity and, more importantly, the determination to contribute to healthier kids.”

“The health of future generations concerns each and every one of us, and we believe that together we can make a difference,” said Zeinab Maktabi, Nutrition, Health & Wellness Manager at Nestlé Middle East and U4HK Lead. “We invite everybody to unite for healthier kids, by becoming a member of the movement and signing up www.U4HK-me.com.

“The website provides a wealth of tips and fun ideas to make adopting a healthy lifestyle enjoyable and easy for parents and kids.”

You can also join the movement on Facebook.com\U4HKme, or Instagram: @U4HKme.

More on U4HK focus areas:

  • More Movement: Being active is not only important for health, but for children to develop their motor skills, decision-making, attention and teamwork abilities. Regular physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle where any amount and any type of exercise are better than none.

  • More Water: Water is best for calorie-free hydration and controlling the body’s temperature – and is especially important for children who are physically active or live in hot climates. Parents should encourage children to drink adequate amounts of water.

  • More Fruits & Vegetables: Children should be encouraged to have a varied, nutrient-rich diet based on the different food groups. The United for Healthier Kids program emphasizes variety such as offering vegetables and fruits as snacks, in side dishes and incorporated into main meals.

  • More Managed Portions: Helping children select the right amount of food, in the correct proportions, instills healthier eating habits. United for Healthier Kids communicates age-appropriate portions to parents.

About U4HK:

United for Healthier Kids (U4HK ) is a pioneering, comprehensive and science-based program developed by Nestlé and built on partnerships among various entities with the aim of nurturing healthier generations. In the Middle East, U4HK is launched in partnership with MBC Al Amal and the Arabian Radio Network to help parents establish healthier eating, drinking and lifestyle habits for children aged 4-12.

Through nutritional science and a deep understanding of the region’s parents and kids, Nestlé identified four behaviors that need to be brought into the everyday routines of children to ensure a healthier lifestyle: MORE Movement, MORE Water, MORE Fruits & Vegetables, and MORE Managed Portions.

You can join the movement on www.U4HK-me.com, Facebook.com/U4HKme, or Instagram: @U4HKme.

About “MBC Hope” MBC Al Amal - CSR

MBC Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, “MBC Hope” (MBC Al Amal), is about taking MBC values beyond the company and into the community. It’s about the empowerment and development of Arab youth, for our future and theirs. MBC Hope continues to develop and implement initiatives that confirm the Group’s ongoing commitment to the development of talent & innovation, education, supporting entrepreneurship, environment and humanitarian causes.

Arabian Radio Network

The Arabian Radio Network is the largest and most successful radio network in the Middle East, with nine radio channels representing every major community in the UAE. Radio stations include Tag 91.1, Al Khaleejiya 100.9, Al Arabiya 99, Dubai 92, Virgin Radio Dubai 104.4, Dubai Eye 103.8, City 1016, Hit 96.7 and Radio Shoma 93.4 Headquartered at Dubai Media City, ARN is part of the Arab Media Group.

About Nestlé Middle East

Nestlé Middle East’s heritage goes back 80 years to 1934 when the first import operation was set up in Lebanon. Today, Nestlé Middle East owns and operates 18 factories and provides direct employment to more than 11,000 people and indirect employment to several thousand more. The Nestlé portfolio in the region currently exceeds 60 innovative product brands in a wide range of categories: dairy products and infant nutrition, bottled water, chocolate and confectionery, coffee creamers, breakfast cereals, and culinary products, among others. Nestlé Nido, Nestlé NAN, S-26, Progress, Maggi, Nescafé, Kit Kat, Coffeemate, Nestlé Cerelac, Nestlé Pure Life, Nespresso and Nestlé Fitness are just some of the brands available in the Middle East.

* References: 1. Guo and Chumlea, 1999