ACTIVESG AND FRIESLANDCAMPINA ASIA PILOT FIRST PRESCHOOL NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMME TO FOSTER HEALTHY LIVING HABITS IN SINGAPORE’S YOUNG
– New ‘Nurture Kids’ programme teaches preschool children aged four to six to ‘Eat Smart’ and ‘Stay Active’
– Unique public-private partnership aims to fight war against diabetes and promote health awareness in young children
SINGAPORE, October 5, 2017 – ActiveSG, Singapore’s national movement for sport and physical activity, and FrieslandCampina Asia, one of the world’s largest dairy companies, today announced a collaboration to introduce Nurture Kids — a new physical activity and nutrition programme for preschool children in Singapore.
Nurture Kids is the first health, nutrition and exercise programme designed specifically for preschool children between four and six years old. The children will be taught fundamental movement skills and given tips on how to live an active and healthy lifestyle. The programme aims to inculcate in the children healthy living habits that will offer long-term benefits for their health.
Nurture Kids is currently being piloted at eight preschools which have volunteered to incorporate the programme into their curriculum. Twice a week, coaches engaged by ActiveSG, will guide students through a series of fun activities and games that will develop further the child’s fundamental movement abilities such as agility, catching and throwing. The coaches will also share good habits on nutrition, screen time, sleep and physical activity.
Nutritionists have also been engaged to teach the children to ‘Eat Smart’ through specially designed workshops meant to impart the importance of good and balanced nutrition. An assessment will be undertaken after 10 weeks to evaluate the outcomes from the programme and the effectiveness of its curriculum.
Mr Lai Chin Kwang, Chief, ActiveSG said: “It is never too early for children to start living healthily. We would like to thank FrieslandCampina Asia for joining us to bring physical activity and nutrition to preschools. We hope that by starting them at a young age, the children will develop a lifelong habit to stay active and healthy.”
Nurture Kids is the result of a public-private partnership between ActiveSG and FrieslandCampina. It has been developed in response to the growing trend of childhood obesity in Singapore. About 10 percent of children aged five are overweight (*1), while 43 percent of obese children are likely to stay obese as adults (*2).
If left uncurbed, obesity will rise from 11 percent to 15 percent of Singapore’s population by 2024 (*3). This has far reaching impact on public health and the economy. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer are common complications of obesity (*4). The burden of obesity alone cost Singapore $2.77 billion, or 14 percent of gross domestic product, in healthcare spending and productivity loss in 2016 (*5).
Mr Hendro Poedjono, Corporate Affairs Director, FrieslandCampina Asia said:“There is an urgent need to address the state of health among young children in Singapore. To foster better health behaviour, we need to engage parents, educators, the government and the community. This is why FrieslandCampina Asia is spearheading Nurture Kids together with ActiveSG.
We believe that Nurture Kids will make a direct and lasting impact on the development of Singapore’s young, by providing them the necessary skills and knowledge for a healthy headstart in life, and enhance the overall well-being and health outcomes of Singaporeans now and in the future.”
For more information:
*1) National Day Rally 2017
*2) HPB-MOH Clinical Practice Guidelines on Obesity
*3) The Straits Times – Singapore risks hitting obesity rate of 15% in seven years, 20 June 2017
*4) Pacific Prime – Fighting Childhood Obesity, July 2017
*5) The Straits Times – Most adults gain weight after starting work, 20 June 2017