Unilever recently commissioned a scientific white paper seeking to clarify the value of habitually eating a nutritious breakfast, in relation to the growth and development of children in South Africa. Results indicated that poor nutrition among school-age children diminishes their cognitive performance either through physiological changes or by reducing their ability to participate in learning experiences, or both. The research showed that without a good breakfast, children can experience difficulty concentrating and performing complex tasks, even if the child is otherwise well-nourished.
“One of the three primary goals of Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, is to ‘help people take action to improve their health and well-being’, not just by providing quality food products that are both nutritious and appealing, but also by promoting healthy nutrition habits amongst consumers,” said Angela Klute, Unilever Foods Vice President, Southern Africa, “In response, Rama has announced that it will tackle the issue of improving the breakfast consumption of South African children to assist them in leading healthier lives and improve their school performance.
Rama will address the issue in two ways.
With the support of the Department of Basic Education, Rama will launch a Good Breakfast schools programme to try and improve learners breakfast habits to ultimately ensure participation and school attendance are enhanced through good nutrition.
Rama will also launch a digital programme, The Breakfast Check, which will be available through USSD, Facebook Messenger and the Rama.co.za website. Through this engagement, Rama will also teach parents the value of a good breakfast every day and get them to consider their daily breakfast choices with care.
Rama’s Good Breakfast schools programme will teach children what constitutes a good breakfast and then make a good breakfast a daily habit through a 21 day behaviour change programme. Children who take part in the programme will also learn a song, The Breakfast Beat, written and recorded by ProVerb, who has been announced as the Rama Good Breakfast ambassador.
“As a father, I was so excited to come on board with Rama for this project”, ProVerb said, “I believe anything we can do to improve our children’s chances for a better future, is a worthwhile investment. Undernutrition is an issue in this country and as someone who’s always believed strongly that a good breakfast sets you up for the day, I wholeheartedly agree with Rama’s views and wanted to share my passion for the issue.”
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, as it makes an important contribution to daily nutrient intake. Studies indicate that school age children who regularly skip breakfast are not likely to concentrate in class, thus affecting school performance. Studies also show that 86 % of children reported that eating breakfast before school helped them to concentrate better and 89% said that it gave them energy for the rest of the day.
Speaking at the launch event, Unilever South Africa Executive Vice President, Luco Marquet said, that the private sector had substantial potential to contribute to acceleration of improvements in nutrition. “A need remains for innovative food products with good nutritional profiles to bridge the nutrition gaps that still exist,” he said, “With this in mind, Rama has also relaunched its formulation to include 9 vitamins and Omega 3 to supplement the diet and provide more healthy fats.”
To inspire parents to consider their children’s breakfast habits more, Rama created a video entitled, ‘Future Dreams’, where they interviewed children from different areas and backgrounds and asked them what they wanted to be when they grow up. The video was totally unscripted the results are sometimes funny, at times impressive and always inspiring, reminding us how children see only possibility and no obstacles. The video highlights how a good breakfast can improve a child’s chances of reaching their potential.
. Rama’s Good Breakfast school programme will start taking place in schools from the end of August. Find out if you’re eating a good breakfast daily! Sign up for the Breakfast Check by dialing (USSD), visiting Rama on Facebook or going to .
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. It has 169,000 employees and generated sales of €53.3 billion in 2015. Over half (58%) of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world, including, Rama, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Magnum and Axe.
Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan commits to:
- Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
- Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
- Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.
Unilever was ranked number one in its sector in the 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index, it achieved the highest environmental score of 5. It led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2016 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the sixth year running. Unilever was ranked the most sustainable food and beverage company in Oxfam’s Behind the Brands Scorecard in 2016 for the second year.
About Unilever South Africa
Unilever South Africa (Pty) Ltd is one of the largest FMCG companies in South Africa. The Company is over 100 years old, with brands like Rama, Sunlight, OMO, Lux, Knorr, Vaseline, Shield, Flora etc. that are household names throughout the country. Unilever South Africa has over 3 500 direct employees based across two offices and seven manufacturing locations in South Africa. The company has a created a further 10, 000 plus indirect jobs through its value chain. It is rated as one of South Africa’s best employers. For more information visit –www.unilever.co.za
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