A UNICEF corporate partner since 2019
A global partnership to help prevent childhood overweight and obesity
Since launching in 2019, this partnership has been at the forefront of driving systemic changes to prevent childhood overweight and obesity - positively impacting the lives of more than 2.6 million children and caregivers across Latin America and the Caribbean through direct programmatic interventions. Additionally, the partnership also played a crucial role in enhancing national legislation, ensuring greater protection, promotion, and support for child nutrition and health.
Recent figures show that overweight and obesity affect 37 million children under 5 globally, and an additional 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19. Alarmingly, approximately three quarters of affected children reside in low- and middle-income countries. The Latin America & the Caribbean and East Asia & the Pacific regions alone are home to nearly half of the world’s children under the age of five living with overweight or obesity.
Partnership expansion in 2023
In 2023 Novo Nordisk and UNICEF renewed and expanded the partnership with specific focus on improving the food and urban systems that often dictate the health and well-being of children.
“Childhood obesity prevention is critical as the current trajectory for obesity is unsustainable, placing increased pressure on countries across the world,” said Katrine DiBona, corporate vice president for Global Public Affairs & Sustainability at Novo Nordisk. “UNICEF and Novo Nordisk believe that preventing childhood obesity is a shared societal responsibility that requires systemic change. With the expansion of our partnership, we are excited to continue our work to build healthy environments that enable and empower children to thrive.”
The partnership aims to support more local and national governments to implement sustainable policy change to improve children’s access to nutritious, safe, affordable diets as well as opportunities to be physically active.
To do so, the partnership will create evidence to enhance knowledge among decision makers and advocate to shift the narrative on childhood overweight and obesity away from individual blame and towards the structural drivers.
While the partnership focuses on supporting broader regional efforts to prevent childhood overweight and obesity in Latin America and the Caribbean and East Asia and the Pacific regions, it will prioritize deeper policy work in Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, and Mexico.
“The continuation of our partnership with Novo Nordisk supports our global prevention agenda to tackle the escalating prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity. We aim to accelerate efforts in preventing childhood overweight and obesity through systemic action in policies, programmes and practices that will have a profound impact on the nutrition, growth and development of millions of children,” said Victor Aguayo, Director of Nutrition and Child Development at UNICEF.
Local partnership’s interventions include:
- Advocating for school food environment regulations in Brazil that prohibit the sale or promotion of harmful ultra-processed food products.
- Designing innovations to monitor the improved regulation of unhealthy food marketing directed at children online in Mexico.
- Piloting innovative interventions to improve urban food retail environments in Indonesia.
- Strengthening nutrition labelling regulations in Colombia.
Last updated September 20, 2023