Nestlé UK and PhunkyFoods join forces on new healthy kids programme

Nestlé UK has partnered with PhunkyFoods, an award-winning independent curriculum-based healthy eating and activity programme, on a new Healthy Kids Programme, which will reach 76,000 children between 2012 and 2015.

Through the Nestlé UK Healthy Kids Network, Nestlé will support PhunkyFoods with £820,000 on an ambitious new three-year initiative – helping to expand PhunkyFoods’ reach to an extra 339 primary schools around the UK and facilitating a large-scale research project by Leeds Metropolitan University to measure the impact of regular healthy lifestyle lessons on children’s health.

Accredited by Business in the Community and supported by the Royal Society of Public Health and Change4Life, PhunkyFoods was founded in 2005 in response to the Government’s White Paper ‘Choosing Health’ 2004. This stressed that the UK’s current obesity epidemic is the shared responsibility of those in the food industry and government as well as parents and schools, and called for an informed approach on the matter to help inspire children.

The programme aims to generate a positive change in the BMI of children and to address the rising level of childhood obesity across the UK. While funding partners help make the programme available to children across the UK, the editorial content of PhunkyFoods curriculum, website and resources are written by registered nutritionists and consultant teachers, and are completely independent of any company or product branding.

Nestlé UK will fund the programme as part of the company’s global Healthy Kids initiative, which is designed to raise nutrition, health and wellness awareness of school-age children around the world. Nestlé runs Healthy Kids schemes in over 60 countries world-wide, working in partnership with NGOs, government and nutritionists to tackle health challenges such as obesity.

Commenting on the partnership, Dr Jennie Cockroft, co-founder of PhunkyFoods said: “At PhunkyFoods we understand the serious issues schools face regarding lack of funding. Our partnership with Nestlé UK will have a profound and positive impact on tackling the worrying trend of childhood obesity in the UK. Furthermore the research will offer ground-breaking information on the impact of how PhunkyFoods is changing childrens’ attitudes towards healthy living.”

Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Nestlé Consultant, Dr Miriam Stoppard commented: “The PhunkyFoods Healthy Kids Programme is one of the highest quality initiatives of its kind I have come across anywhere in the world bringing about changes in eating and exercise behaviours in schoolchildren.
“The programme will not only improve the health and wellbeing of schoolchildren it will, through a scientific collaboration with the Department of Nutrition at Leeds Metropolitan University, yield independent, ground-breaking research to support roll-out of the programme to children throughout the UK. The prospects of this enterprise are very exciting as they could change the long-term health and wellbeing of children, families and communities, something I greatly wish to help bring about.”

Liz Read, Nutritionist, Nestlé UK said; “Our global Healthy Kids programme is making a tangible difference to children’s understanding of nutrition and health right across the world. Drawing on this breadth of expertise, our new UK programme represents a significant investment in health education for children in our communities. We very excited about the programme’s potential in terms of direct health benefits to the 76,000 children involved. “

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