'Eat Like A Champ' is a free, evidence-based healthy eating education program aimed at primary school children aged 9-10 years – Year 5 (England and Wales), Primary 6 (Northern Ireland) and P6 (Scotland). The aim of the campaign is to tackle the growing issue of poor nutrition and obesity amongst children through six specially-tailored lessons about healthy eating, hydration and staying active. The concept of ‘Eat Like A Champ’ is to make healthy eating exciting and to inspire children to adopt the healthy choices of champions they admire. Through these specially-tailored lessons, 'Eat Like a Champ' encourages children to make small shifts towards healthier habits that contribute to sustainable behavioral change.
Why it matters
Given the pressing social issue of poor nutrition and child obesity in the U.K., Danone believes they have a role to play in promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle as part of their corporate social responsibility agenda. In England, one in three children is overweight or obese at age 11. If current behaviors do not change, 90% of the population will be overweight or obese by 2050, costing the U.K. economy £50 billion.
At Danone, we wanted to inspire primary school children across the U.K. to lead healthier lives—but to succeed, we would have to find a way to get kids excited about nutrition education.
How it works
We developed a six-week unbranded education program implemented through a free resource toolkit, on healthy eating for primary school children aged 9 to 10, and added a comprehensive toolkit and website for their teachers. The toolkit contains a comprehensive teacher’s guide design to complement current U.K. curricula. It includes 6 ready-to-use lessons’ plans, worksheets, lesson support and learning aids for kids and parents. The first 3,000 teachers to register their Year 5/Primary 6/P6 classes to this year’s ‘Eat Like A Champ’ campaign have received a free hard copy of the toolkit.
‘Eat Like a Champ’ also runs celebratory events with Danone volunteers and celebrity ambassadors, which, in the past, has included Diversity and Helen Skelton. These events help to reward and inspire classes that have participated in the program.
How it creates value
Independent research by the Childrens' Food Trust in 2012 demonstrated that children who took part in ‘Eat Like A Champ’ shifted their behaviors towards healthier eating habits. Specific changes were equivalent to one less chocolate bar per child per week and two more portions of fruit per child per week.
The content of ‘Eat Like A Champ’ was written in collaboration with the British Nutrition Foundation to ensure that the lessons are of the highest possible standard, up to date with the latest government guidelines, and complement primary school curricula throughout the U.K. Our 2016/17 resources have been updated to reflect Public Health England’s recent changes to the Eatwell Guide.
The program also helps build Danone’s credibility and reputation as a partner in health topics.