15 May 2018 --- Healthy lifestyle, school-based, public-private partnership programs may be key for addressing childhood obesity, a report published by The Mondelēz International Foundation has found. Results showed the programs positive impacts on healthy lifestyles through knowledge and practice in the target populations. The report may also provide important lessons in establishing effective public-private partnerships (PPPs) designed to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic.
“The Foundation and its partners around the world have created an effective framework for healthy lifestyle, school-based public-private partnerships. As outlined in the paper, there is strong evidence that shows programs across all five continents are having a positive impact on nutrition and physical activity knowledge and practices,” said Pérez-Escamilla, lead author and Professor of Public Health & Director, Office of Public Health Practice at the Yale School of Public Health.
Specifically, across the Foundation programs, there was a twelve percent increase in understanding what good nutrition is, including knowing the number of fruits and vegetables to eat daily; a six percent increase in physical activity to at least 30 minutes daily; and an eleven percent increase in eating more fruits, vegetables and other fresh foods, as part of the gardening programs.
The report outlines how the childhood obesity is determined by a constellation of factors ranging from macro-social, economic, and health policies all the way down to private sector, community, household, and individual choices across the life course. Therefore, public-private partnerships have been recognized as central for addressing the childhood obesity epidemic. However, few previous studies of this type exist in the domain.
The analysis conducted examined the impact of the Mondelēz International Foundation initiatives in seven countries across five continents, including Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. For more than nine years, the Mondelēz International Foundation partnered with non-profit organizations across the regions to support the delivery and evaluation of school-based healthy lifestyle programs. The findings published provide learnings on how future public-private partnerships seeking to promote healthy lifestyles and help curb the risk of obesity could successfully be established.
The qualitative data used to evaluate the Foundation’s partnerships was collected from two program evaluation workshops in 2013 and 2016, as well as from the Foundation’s annual country reports and project report, and interviews with key leaders from each program.
“Through effective partnerships with locally based organizations, we’ve transformed the lives of millions of children and families around the globe by improving nutrition knowledge, physical activity and access to fresh produce,” said Sarah Delea, President of the Mondelēz International Foundation. “We’re inspired by the change we’ve seen in those programs and hope that Dr. Pérez-Escamilla’s study in Food and Nutrition Bulletin will inspire others to make an impact through public-private partnerships.”
The foundation is the international philanthropic arm of Mondelēz International. The Foundation is focused on three areas of action: investing in community programs that promote healthy lifestyles in at-risk communities around the world; providing humanitarian aid through cash and product when disaster strikes, and inspiring colleagues to contribute time and talent to help our local communities thrive.
NutritionInsight has previously reported on the foundation launching the healthy lifestyle programs.
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