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Palestine positive Dietary & Behavioral Changes among School Children

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Dubai, UAE

 • Doubling of fruits & vegetables,
 • Breakfast twice more often,
 • 40% less unhealthy snacking,
 • 37% less TV
 • Doubling of water consumption

Nine-eleven year-olds consume two times the amount of fruits and vegetables, watch 37% less television, eat breakfast and water twice more frequently, and have about 40% less chips and 36% less sweetened drinks, after completing the first year of “Nestlé Healthy Kids – Ajyal Salima” school program in Palestine.

“Nestlé Ajyal Salima is clearly a positive addition to our schools, with all the behavior and dietary-changing activities it brings to children, and training on nutrition it provides to teachers,” said Dr. Basri Saleh, Deputy of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of Palestine. They launched the program in 12 public schools over the past academic year in the Northern, Central, and Southern West Bank, reaching 940 students. “The Program falls in line with our 2015-2019 five-year plan to improve the quality of teaching and learning, as well as students’ nutritional and general health.”

Developed by the American University of Beirut and Nestlé Middle East, the program contributes to Nestlé’s commitment of ‘Promoting Healthy Diets and Lifestyles’ in the region and has so far reached more than 60,000 public and private school students in the Middle East.

The Ministry-announced data stems from an AUB study assessing one year of Nestlé Ajyal Salima implementation in Palestine. The Study covered 12 schools where the Program was implemented to 12 where it wasn’t. Palpable positive change was visible in attitudes among the students who completed it, including knowledge, self-efficacy, and eating and lifestyle behavior.

“The Nestlé Healthy Kids Program – Ajyal Salima would not be the success it is nor sustainable on the long-term without the support of the various educational institutions, government, school and other entities we are working with in Palestine and the rest of the region,” said Nestlé Healthy Kids Middle East Program Manager Patricia El Chammas. “It is particularly heartwarming to feel the zeal of the kids and dedication of teachers who are passionate about the well-being of children in their classrooms.”

Palestine became fifth in the region last year to launch Nestlé Ajyal Salima, under the leadership of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. The Program first kicked off in Lebanon in 2010 in partnership with the American University of Beirut and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and was adopted by the Lebanese Ministry of Education in its school health unit curriculum in 2014. It was then implemented in Dubai in collaboration with the Dubai Educational Zone in 2012, Saudi Arabia where it completed a pilot run in 2014 and Jordan in 2015 in partnership with the Royal Health Awareness Society.

Its introduction in Palestine began with training and knowledge transfer workshops, designed and delivered by AUB experts to equip Field Supervisors from the Education Ministry’s School Health department to train teachers to run it successfully in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. To date, 40 members of the School Health team and 47 School Principals have been trained.

For more information, please contact:

Lynn Al Khatib, Media Relations Manager
Nestlé Middle East
[email protected]

More about the Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Program

The Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Program aims to raise nutrition, health and wellness awareness of school age children around the world. It is a Nestlé Creating Shared Value initiative to promote healthy living among children. Launched globally in 2009, this program runs in partnership with governments, academia, and NGOs in 84 countries around the world.

More about “Ajyal Salima”

Part of the Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Program, the “Ajyal Salima” curriculum was developed by the American University of Beirut, under the name of “Kanz al Soha”, to answer specifically to Middle Eastern community issues and address nutritional habits and requirements. It involves 12 educational sessions per round, including interactive learning and hands-on activities on nutrition, healthy eating and physical activity; as well as questionnaires developed to track improvement of children from pre to post interventions.

About Nestlé Middle East

Nestlé Middle East’s heritage goes back over 80 years to 1934 when the first import operation was set up in Lebanon. Today, Nestlé Middle East owns and operates 18 factories and provides direct employment to more than 13,000 employees who are all committed to Nestlé’s purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. It also provides indirect employment to several thousand more.

The Nestlé portfolio in the region currently exceeds 60 innovative product brands in a wide range of categories: dairy products and infant nutrition, bottled water, chocolate and confectionery, coffee creamers, breakfast cereals, culinary products, health science, skin health, and Pet Care, among others. Nestlé Nido, Nestlé NAN, S-26, Progress, Maggi, Nescafé, Kit Kat, Coffeemate, Nestlé Cerelac, Nestlé Fitness, Nestlé Pure Life, Nespresso, Optifast and Cetaphil are just some of the brands available in the Middle East.

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