MILAN – Nestlé Middle East, MBC Al Amal and the Arabian Radio Network launched “United for Healthier Kids” (U4HK) in order to help parents to educate their children about the importance of healthy eating and hydration habits. The aim of the movement is to raise awareness about the issue of childhood obesity, which is often caused by poor habits and unhealthy lifestyles.
According to the World Health Organization, levels of obesity across the world have doubled since 1980. What’s more, there may be 42 million obese children by 2021. If the current rate continues, the number of overweight or obese children globally will increase to 70 million by 2025. “International studies show that 30% of pre-school children and 40% of school children are at risk of being obese as an adult,” explained Dr Nahla Hwalla, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture & Food Sciences at the American University of Beirut and scientific advisor for U4HK. “Tackling growing childhood obesity rates must be a priority for everyone, and the drive to do that can certainly benefit from as much involvement as possible from the private and public sectors.”
Areas of interest for United for Healthier Kids
Regular physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle and helps children to develop their motor skills, decision-making, attention and teamwork abilities.
Water is the best solution for hydration. It is calorie-free and helps to control the body’s temperature. It is also especially important for children who are physically active. Parents play a crucial role in teaching their children to hydrate properly, encouraging them to drink adequate amounts of water every day.
More fruit and vegetables
Children should be encouraged to have a varied, nutrient-rich diet based on the different food groups. One of the best things to do is to offer your children fruit and vegetables as snacks, or as side dishes as a part of main meals.
More managed portions
Helping children select the right amount of food, in the correct proportions, instils healthier eating habits. Through this initiative, parents are also taught to serve age-appropriate portions for their children.
by Alessandro Conte