Healthy weight: it all starts with a little food knowledge and motivation

Overweight and obesity are rising all over the world. Today, they affect more than 1,9 billion adults, over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 and 38.3 million children under 5 years old (WHO).Unhealthy food habits and insufficient physical activity are among the root causes of this complex and multifactorial issue. That’s why promoting healthier habits, particularly in children, by increasing their awareness of the impact of our food, drink and activity choices can be key in preventing this public health issue.

Schools are a powerful engine of change.

FAO and WHO recognize the relevance of nutritional education in schools and shaping an appropriate food environment at an early age. (Education | Nutrition | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (

A class with child and teacher

Some of Danone’s business units decided to lead the food revolution from schools. 

A family at the table, parents educate their children on healthy eating habits

Danone UK, with the emblematic “Eat Like a Champ” initiative, succeeded in changing dietary habits with a net shift of 5.8% toward healthier eating in children involved. The relevance of nutritional education in schools is supported by the creation of the ‘Teachers’ guide’, including lessons that are built in collaboration with the British Nutrition Foundation, British Dietetic Association, and sustainability experts of the Hubbub agency.

The organization of a National Food Week, with high media coverage, can also be a powerful initiative to raise awareness among many students and teachers.


Danone Morocco, with the “Sehaty fi Taghdiyati” program, launched this event in partnership with the Ministry of National Education and Higher Education Scientific Research. Sehaty fi Taghdiyati shows that educating children at school is key to ensuring that they have information about what they eat and drink, are aware of the impact that food has on their development and can therefore make the healthiest choices. 

Some Danone subsidiaries decided to broaden the scope of their programs, addressing content to parents and educators.

In Italy, the obesity prevention strategies based on changing the habits of parents are among the most successful. With the Italian Society of General Practitioners, among other partners, Danone Italy implemented a multi-channel approach for family education through the “Vivismart” project. The final objective is to engage 2,5 million citizens, 16 points of sale, 64 classes in 16 schools, 25 doctors of the Italian society of General practitioners. The results of a survey including 863 children is already available: the consumption of water increased by 8% and sports participation among these children increased from 3.4 times per week to 3.8 times per week.

Danone Chine launch the "Healthy Champion" initiative

In China, the “Healthy Champion” initiative by Danone China targets the 6-20 year olds. As part of strategy of “Health China”, “Health Children plan 2018-2030” aims to improve the overall health status of children and adolescents through sports, healthy champion classes in schools and via donations of game book and sports facilities to schools. The project was amplified by several mainstream media in China. We also invited several social celebrities to serve as volunteers with Danone.

Beyond our business units, the Danone Ecosystem Fund undertook major initiatives. 

The “Alimentando el Cambio” program in Spain is an education program to implement healthy habits. Danone Ecosystem collaborates with many players: the Ministry of National Education in Spain, CODINMA (colegio profesional de dietistas-nutricionistas), the Trilema’s foundation, Ashoka, FitBit, Edelvives, Serunion, Wolters Kluwer, ADDIM (association of athletes for a better childhood) to provide nutritional education for all and promote regenerative agriculture.

In total, over the four past years, 5,537,000 people in the above-mentioned countries have been reached by one of the programs run by Danone on this topic of obesity prevention through healthy food habits, of which 600,000 present a documented impact. Among the key factors of success of such programs are the definition of targeted objectives and the collaboration with skilled partners.