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Wellness campus persists through pandemic

Covid-19 should not hinder us from taking care of other health problems. This includes malnutrition, which has been a concern among children, even before Covid-19 hit the country.

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Established in 2013, the Nestlé Wellness Campus (NWC) began with the goal of raising awareness and providing educational materials to students.

Malnutrition is one of the biggest impediments to human development. Children who are stunted, wasting or obese may have trouble performing at school, experience low self-esteem and, later on, suffer long-term effects as an adult.

According to a report from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, 26 percent or one out of four school children are underweight. A 2020 survey also showed that 62 percent or six out of 10 of households experience moderate to severe food insecurity — a state in which people are at risk or are actually suffering from inadequate consumption to meet nutritional requirements.

Nestlé ensures that children get the proper nutrition they need through the Nestlé Wellness Campus (NWC) program in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd).

Established in 2013, the program began with the goal of raising awareness and providing educational materials to pursue wellness daily. One of the activities was a dance program held after the flag ceremony in school to help promote active lifestyle. Nutritionist-dietitians also gave talks about balanced and healthy food choices to address nutrition gaps and encourage healthier eating habits.

Students from Pasig engage in one of the pre-pandemic activities of NWC. / PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF NESTLé

Over the years, NWC grew and was embraced by different DepEd regions. The dance program evolved into an inter-school and inter-region competition. Nestlé is committed to promoting nutrition, health and wellness in the new normal by providing digital tools such as nutrition and sustainability modules, as well as wellness song and dance videos to educate students, teachers and parents on the seven healthy habits they can apply at home.

The program also recognized teachers who went the extra mile to teach innovative learning experiences for children. They launched an exclusive NWC Facebook Group to continue their commitment and strengthen the pivot online. It now has more than 47,000 members. A Facebook Group exclusive for parents is also underway to provide access to wellness content for children and the entire family.

NWC started at only 250 high schools in the National Capital Region during its first year. It catered to a total of 650,000 students. NWC grew to inspire more than seven million students from Grades 1 to 10 in 13,000 schools to live healthier lives. For school year 2021-2022, Nestlé anticipates that the program will reach more than 10 million students across seven regions nationwide.

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