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Issue 02/05

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WHY IT MATTERS

41M
children are overweight or obese 1.
The right nutrition during the first 1,000 days can impact life-long health

There’s a broad scientific consensus that nutrition plays a crucial role in children’s physical development and learning abilities. And that poor nutrition can have irreversible impacts: 155 million children under the age of 5 show stunting1. According to The World Health Organization (WHO) and national public health authorities, growing up strong starts with a healthy, balanced, nutrient-rich diet for mothers-to-be. The WHO recommends that infants are exclusively breastfed for six months, with timely introduction of complementary foods while continuing breastfeeding for up to two years of age or beyond.

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1 World Health Organization, Malnutrition factsheet, 1 April 2020

2 billion
people age 60 and over in 2050, up from 900 million in 2015 2.
The right to age in good health

By 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years old will almost double, from 12% in 2015 to 22%2. This increase in life expectancy in almost every country in the world poses a new challenge, not only for older people and their families, but for society as a whole. Everyone wants to remain healthy as they age, and a growing body of scientific research confirms that a healthy lifestyle and a diet tailored to seniors’ nutritional needs can contribute to this. Aging well means enjoying this period of life to the fullest in a supportive environment. 

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2 World Health Organization, Ageing and Health, 5 February 2018

4.5 billion
people lack safely managed sanitation3.
Hydration: where health starts

Water is even more critical to the human body than food: we can survive several weeks without eating, but no more than three days without drinking. Yet one in three people worldwide have no access to safe drinking water3, which makes them vulnerable to deadly diseases, with children suffering most. And while everyone agrees that healthy hydration is important, health authorities’ recommendations are rarely followed. Most people simply don’t drink enough water—and to make matters worse, consumption of sugary soft drinks continues to rise, particularly among children4. That in turn leads to overweight, obesity and increased risk of serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure4.

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3 WHO/UNICEF, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene report, 12 July 2017
3 World Health Organization,Reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce the risk of childhood overweight and obesity

WHAT WE’RE DOING

A good start in life

At Danone we believe that providing specific nutrients during pregnancy and in the first years of life is essential to children’s physical and intellectual development—and can help protect them from disease later in life. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for infants, which is why we draw on years of scientific research and innovation as we develop our infant formulas to meet these nutritional needs. We also play an active role in educating young parents about the importance of nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life.

Our commitments
  • We fully support the WHO’s position on the need to protect and promote breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for infants.
  • For parents who find that breastfeeding and breast milk are not always possible in their situation, we commit to providing information and support—whatever their choice.

Nutrition & health as we age

At Danone we believe that nutrition is one solution to the challenges of aging—and that its role is currently underestimated. That’s why we’re working with the scientific and medical community to develop products designed specifically to support health as we age. When combined with a rich, varied diet, our products can help fill the nutrition gaps that may develop with aging, in particular for nutrients such as calcium, certain vitamins and proteins.

Commitments
  • Work with our partners in the scientific community to develop knowledge and conduct clinical studies on how nutrition impacts aging, with a special focus on the increasing frailty and loss of muscle mass and bone density in seniors.
  • Develop innovative medical nutrition solutions to help older people with malnutrition or at risk of malnutrition regain mobility and independence.

Healthy hydration for one and all

Our goal is to bring healthy hydration and access to potable water to as many people as possible, all around the world. The unique characteristics of our natural mineral waters are well known, including consistent, guaranteed mineral content, and they meet the different needs of consumers, whatever their age or lifestyle.

Our commitments
  • Encourage people to follow official recommendations on daily water intake to avoid the negative impact of poor hydration, especially for pregnant or breastfeeding women and seniors.
  • Facilitate access to safe drinking water by making a liter of water available to communities most in need in Asia, Africa and South America for each liter of water sold worldwide.

In action

We can all act at our level to support this societal issue
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