NutriJuice Program kicks off 5th year of fight against anemia
MANILA, Philipines - Continuing its commitment to implement programs that uplift lives of Filipino children, Coca-Cola Philippines with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of DOST (FNRI-DOST) and the Department of Education will provide 35,000 pupils with NutriJuice for school year 2013-2014. This brings the total number of beneficiaries to 242,000 public school pupils all over the country since its implementation in 2008.
Nutrijuice is an orange-flavored drink fortified with iron, zinc, lysine, Vitamins A and C given to school children ages 6 to 12 for free for a period of 120 days. Developed by Coca-Cola Philippines and FNRI-DOST, NutriJuice aims to help reduce the incidence of Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) among school children. Beginning August of this year, NutriJuice will be distributed in schools identified by the Department of Education in Quezon Province, Quirino, Bacolod, Bohol, Misamis Oriental, Cotabato, Taguig, and Ilocos.
“We are encouraged with the response of our partner schools to the NutriJuice Program over the years and we will continue to provide school children with this iron-fortified drink which they can enjoy,” says Atty. Adel Tamano, Vice President for Public Affairs and Communication for Coca-Cola Philippines.
In an Efficacy Study conducted by FNRI-DOST in 2006 in Pinaglabanan Elementary School in San Juan among 277 students showed significant improvement in the nutritional and iron status of school children. There were also significant gains in the weight and height of the children. Moreover, the prevalence of IDA was remarkably reduced from 100% to 13%. IDA is caused by insufficient dietary intake of iron, which the body needs to produce red blood cells. Iron deficiency leads to weakness, poor physical growth, and a compromised immune system. It also impairs cognitive performance, which limits a child’s capacity for learning.
Since the program was launched, a positive change has been observed in the school children engaged as a direct result of the feeding program. “With daily consumption of NutriJuice, the children have not only gained weight, they’ve become more active and alert in class, and the number of absentees due to sickness have gone down dramatically,” shares Tamano.
In 2012, during the centennial year of Coca-Cola in the Philippines, the company reaffirmed its commitment to intensify its key development programs on education, nutrition, women’s economic empowerment and access to water. NutriJuice is one of the four signature programs of Coca-Cola in the Philippines, along with the Little Red Schoolhouse, the Coke TESDA Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (S3TAR) program, and Agos Ram Pump.
Source: Coca-cola press release