Tate & Lyle and Shanghai Nutrition Society launch new child health improvement programme 

New "Healthy Eating, Happy Learning" programme launched in two schools in Shanghai to help improve children’s diets and lifestyles, and to build knowledge and data to tackle rising levels of child obesity

Tate & Lyle, a leading global provider of speciality food ingredients and solutions, announces a partnership with the Shanghai Nutrition Society, a government-guided specialist academic organisation, which has launched a new Child Health Improvement Programme at certain schools in Shanghai, China.

By 2030, one in four Chinese children older than 7 is forecast to be overweight or obese, and so government and expert nutrition organisations are seeking new ways to tackle the increasing level of childhood overweight and obesity.

The new Healthy Eating, Happy Learning programme sees children in two schools in the Pudong district of Shanghai benefit from healthier lunches, nutrition and health education, and increased physical activity.

As part of the programme, the schools’ external lunchbox suppliers are being supported to adapt traditional Chinese dishes, for instance to lower oil and to add vegetables. Parents and teachers are also learning about the importance of diet, nutrition and maintaining an active lifestyle.

Around 1000 students aged between 6 and 9 are taking part in the 2-year programme. The health of the children is being monitored regularly and progress will be compared with children at another school in Shanghai that operates without a comprehensive health programme.

Tate & Lyle’s food scientists and nutritionists are helping to deliver classes and activities alongside the Shanghai Nutrition Society’s expert team and the schools’ teachers. Students and parents will have the opportunity to visit Tate & Lyle’s food kitchen in Shanghai to learn how to make nutritious and delicious meals.

The methodology and results of the programme will be assessed with a view to determining a model that could potentially be used in the future to improve the lives of more children, schools and families within China.

Mr Harry Boot, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Speciality Food Ingredients Asia Pacific at Tate & Lyle, pictured with Mr Chen Yan Quan from Yangling Primary School, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Shanghai Nutrition Society in such an important programme."

"Obesity is a highly complex challenge affecting individuals, families and communities across the world. We work with both large and small food manufacturers to help them lower sugar, fat and calories in food and drink, and we also work in local communities to promote healthier, balanced lifestyles."

"Through our partnership with the Shanghai Nutrition Society, our aim is not only to improve the health of children at schools in Shanghai, but also to build key nutritional knowledge and data which can be used in the future to improve lives for generations.”

Madam Guo Hong Wei, General Director at the Shanghai Nutrition Society, said: “Tate & Lyle’s action shows its sense of social responsibility. The Shanghai Nutrition Society is very happy to cooperate with enterprises in conducting student obesity intervention projects."

"Strengthening co-operation with food companies is one important measure in implementing a national nutrition plan, lowering the prevalence of obesity, and controlling chronic diseases."

"Through this project, we will strengthen the monitoring and assessment of overweight and obese statuses in students, as well as analyse influencing factors, such as family, school and society. These activities are targeted, comprehensive intervention measures that have been proven to be effective by previous scientific studies and practices.”