Reprinted from Inquirer
By Tina Arceo-Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Posted date: August 15, 2010
MANILA, Philippines--Nestle Philippines Inc., the local subsidiary of 144-year-old Swiss company Nestlé S.A., claims to be a top authority when it comes to health and nutrition, and its top-selling chocolate, milk, yogurt and cereal products help back up its assertion.
But having hefty sales and a dominant market share, however, do not automatically mean that its consumers are becoming healthier.
Hypertension, diabetes, obesity, kidney disease and osteoporosis pose a considerable burden to an increasing number of Filipinos.
As it is one of the largest food and beverage companies in the Philippines, Nestlé believes it has a responsibility to help make Filipinos more conscious about their health, and this is manifested in part through its “Choose Wellness, Choose Nestlé” health and nutrition campaign.
Nestlé was guided by studies by the World Health Organization and the Department of Health.
These studies showed heart disease, hypertension and diabetes were among the leading causes of death among Filipinos, and that these chronic diseases could be prevented or managed through a shift to a more healthy lifestyle that includes proper diet and exercise.
To implement the program more effectively, Nestlé says it rolled out its campaign in stages, starting with employees and moving on to health authorities before going to the public.
The campaign has since expanded to include schools, other companies and even hospitals.
Nestlé also sponsors and manages nutritionschool.ph, a website that provides visitors valuable information about good nutrition being the key to health and wellness.
Nestlé says that since its launch in 2008, the site has recorded more than one million hits and it continues to attract visitors seeking to learn more about nutrition.
Nestlé is also continuously deploying registered nutritionists to groceries, supermarkets and other public areas where consumers and the general
public may avail themselves of free advice on the kind of food and beverage they should take in to improve their health.
One of its biggest events is the I Choose Wellness Expo, where doctors, nutritionists, nurses as well as the public come together in one place like SM Megamall to talk about health and nutrition.
According to Cora Sager, NPI corporate wellness head, the activity was designed as an enjoyable celebration for people from various walks of life. It enables participants to explore the different ways by which they can pursue wellness in their lives.
“We all have to realize that the quality of our wellness lies in our own hands. Only we can make the decisions and take the actions for ourselves that will determine the quality of our lives over the years,” Sager says
Nestlé has likewise conducted its wellness workshops in more than 200 business companies, schools and hospitals, participated by HR practitioners, teachers and medical staff who were inspired to develop and implement wellness programs in their own organizations.
Nestlé says four years since the launching of its Wellness Program, the company remains committed to urging Filipino families to choose health and wellness by adopting a lifestyle that focuses on proper nutrition, diet and physical activity.
According to NPI chair and CEO John Miller, a keen runner himself with eight full marathons under his belt, wellness is a journey that everybody should take, if they want to lead long and meaningful lives.
He believes that Nestlé has enough products to help Filipinos do just that.