In the face of clear evidence that to stay in good health people must pay more attention to nutrition and what they drink, Nestlé Waters aims to drive positive changes in hydration habits, worldwide, especially among children.
Hydration choices and health – a global issue
Food and beverages play a fundamental role in our lives, but also present society with some of its biggest challenges. In 2016, a World Health Organization (WHO) study revealed that 39% of the world’s adults over 18 years of age were overweight and 13% obese. In fact, world obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. To a high degree, overweight and obesity can be prevented by healthier consumption habits and by lifestyle changes.
Over the past 10 years, scientific evidence has shown that obesity and the diseases associated with it are closely related to lack of exercise and poor diet – including poor hydration habits. In terms of hydration, excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is clearly an aggravating factor. This evidence has been relayed by a wide range of public health advocacy groups (such as the WHO), which are now urging public health authorities around the world to take action.
Our conviction: water is best
What you drink is as important to your health as what you eat and how often you exercise. We believe that water, which contains zero calories and zero sugar, is a healthy replacement for sugar-sweetened beverages. We consider that more should be done to persuade people to make water- whether bottled or tap – their first choice when it comes to daily hydration. Our mission is to inform consumers and support them in adopting healthy drinking habits.
Raising public awareness
Public awareness of the importance of healthy hydration must plainly be raised if people are to make responsible choices regarding what they drink. We therefore actively collaborate with national bodies around the world (governmental and otherwise) that are taking action to improve the diets and physical activity patterns in the populations they address. For more information, see Promoting water with national campaigns
We organize or sponsor local health-related events. We communicate healthy-hydration messages using a variety of media, including our website. Our bottles and marketing materials convey healthy-hydration messages. Our goal is to make the science of healthy hydration understandable, with simple educational messages that consumers can connect with.
Making water more affordable
We also aim to make high-quality water affordable to the widest possible consumer base, notably to the rising middle class in the emerging world.We also aim to make high-quality water affordable to the widest possible consumer base, notably to the rising middle class in the emerging world. Our brands NESTLE PURE LIFE, AQUAREL and VERA, are distributed in 42 countries. Their low price, made possible by economies of scale and reduced supply-chain costs, make healthy hydration possible for more people in more countries.
Focussing on the young
Because good and sustainable hydration habits should be acquired early in life, we prioritize educating children, through our brands and corporate initiatives, to drink water on a daily basis. Children often find water a less attractive than colorful, sugar-sweetened drinks and we aim to make water more appealing to them, so that they make it a first choice when it comes to daily hydration.
A 2017 WHO report revealed that adolescent obesity is continuing to rise in many countries across Europe, notably in southern European and Mediterranean countries and in Eastern Europe, where historically rates have been slower. We wholeheartedly support efforts by national bodies to combat this problem.
“Most young people will not outgrow obesity: about four in every five adolescents who become obese will continue to have weight problems as adults. As such, they carry forward the increased risk of ill health, stigma and discrimination.” Dr Joao Breda, Programme Manager for Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the WHO Regional Office for Europe
In the U.S., in 2013, Nestlé Waters became associated with the Partnership for Healthier America’s “Drink up” initiative – the first program of its kind aiming to combat childhood obesity by guiding young people towards drinking more water. We communicated the partnership on the packaging of bottled-water product, company trucks, advertising and social media communications. Since then, we have partnered with many such organizations, to transmit the same message. In 2018, Nestlé Waters America and WWE ® jointly launched the #ChooseWaters campaign on social networks. For more information, see Helping children to value water.
Sharing hydration information
At Nestlé Waters, we stay closely informed of the latest medical research and data related to hydration and health. Since we seek to be an active partner in the public health arena, we also publish and share the results of our own research. In this way, we contribute actively to international understanding of the need for healthy hydration. For more information, see Sharing water knowledge .
Did you know?
Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Body mass index (BMI), a simple index of weight-for-height commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults, is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his or her height in meters (kg/m2). According to the WHO:
- Overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25
- Obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30
Defining these conditions for children is more complex since specific age must be taken into account.