According to recent research, Britain is now the fattest nation in Europe with one in three children overweight and one in six obese. If behaviour doesn’t change soon, 90% of the UK population will be overweight or obese and the problem will cost £50bn by 2050.
In line with Danone’s dual economic and social commitment, Danone UK have set out to help the government tackle this issue through the Eat Like a Champ programme. Eat Like a champ aims to change behaviour amongst children by making nutrition exciting for kids and encouraging them to adopt the healthy lifestyle choices of champions they admire. The programme consists of 6 lessons which have been developed in collaboration with the ‘British Nutrition Foundation’ to ensure that the messages are both consistent and linked to the primary school curriculum. To guarantee maximum engagement from the children the winners of ‘Britain’s Got Talent 2009’ Diversity Dance group are endorsing the initiative.
The six lessons are around the following themes and are taught using a variety of methods including PowerPoint presentations, interactive computer games, art & design, group discussion and family involved homework.
Lesson 1 : Eating Well
Lesson 2 : 5-A-Day
Lesson 3 : Healthy Lunches
Lesson 4 : Nutrients and Water
Lesson 5 : Snack Swaps
Lesson 6 : Energy Balance
In June-July 2010 Eat Like a Champ was piloted in 18 schools, 30 year 5 classes, reaching a total of 800 children around London. As a reward for having completed the pilot the kids were then invited to the O2 arena to meet the ambassadors of the campaign, Diversity dance group. The feedback received so far has been incredible and according to a survey conducted by an external charity, 85% of children report to eat more healthily after completing the programme.
In 2011 just over 100 London classes from 53 schools took part in the programme – that’s around 3,000 children! As a result of the campaign, 95% of children are declaring they are eating more healthy food! Eat Like A Champ has been recognised as ‘Good practise’ by the EU Platform on Diet, Physical Activity and Health.
In 2012 the Eat Like A Champ programme extended to over 500 schools in the UK engaging over 12,000 children. In addition, Eat Like A Champ also received a big tick and was short-listed for the Awards for Excellence from BiTC (Business in The Community).
The 2013 ambition is to have Eat Like a Champ run in over 1,000 primary classes across the UK. Year 5 primary school teachers will be able to register for a FREE toolkit in the New Year. For more information on the programme please visit www.eatlikeachamp.co.uk.