Wednesday, 08 December 2021

Key for spreading Nutrition Awareness in the APAC region

02 December 2020 | Opinion

In conversation with John Hellmann, Vice President, Government Affairs – Asia Pacific, Herbalife Nutrition

John Hellmann, Vice President, Government Affairs – Asia Pacific, Herbalife Nutrition

John Hellmann, Vice President, Government Affairs – Asia Pacific, Herbalife Nutrition

Premier global nutrition company, Herbalife Nutrition has recently conducted the second part of its Asia Pacific Nutrition Myths Survey 2020, revealing that healthcare professionals (HCPs) are the most trusted source of nutritional information. The survey was conducted with 5,500 consumers and 250 HCPs across Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam in March 2020. The survey clearly indicated (close to 80%) that HCPs are willing to establish a stronger collaboration with nutrition companies to disseminate nutritional knowledge to the APAC population. On this background, Herbalife Nutrition will be intensifying its collaboration initiatives with the HCP community through a series of multi-platform, public nutrition education and healthy lifestyle activities. The company aims to work closely with key stakeholders and local partners to provide accurate, timely and relevant nutrition information to communities across the region. NufFoodSpectrum Asia recently had opportunity to speak with John Hellmann, Vice President, Government Affairs – Asia Pacific, Herbalife Nutrition to have better insights on spreading Nutrition Awareness in the APAC region.

  • Can you share ‘APAC Nutrition Myths Survey’ insights and how essential is the partnership with HCPs?

 We are living in a world that produces ample food but lacks in nutrition. A significant population in APAC are fighting the triple burden of malnutrition (undernutrition - underweight, stunting or wasting, micronutrient deficiency, and overweight and obesity). In order to better understand nutrition myths prevalent in the region, Herbalife Nutrition conducted a Nutrition Myth Survey amongst 5,500 consumers and 250 healthcare practitioners across Asia Pacific region. The survey revealed the immense gap in and need for nutrition knowledge amongst the consumers and the very critical role that HCPs can play:

  • One in three people believes the false idea that our body requires less protein as we grow older;
  • Nearly two out of three people believe the myth that carbohydrates makes one gain weight;
  • One in three people hold to the myth that eating saturated fat raises “good” cholesterol
  • Two out of three people say the biggest motivator for them to age healthily is a stronger understanding of what good nutrition is
  • 3 in 4 consumers believe that HCPs are the most credible source of accurate nutrition knowledge
  • 3 in 4 HCPs believe that nutrition companies in the region have a significant role to play in imparting nutrition information

This survey therefore not just brought to fore the prevalent nutrition myths in the region but also highlighted how HCPs and nutrition companies have a larger role to play towards creating a nutrition aware and empowered APAC. 

In Asia Pacific, we have formed collaborations with Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM), National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) in Vietnam, Ministry of Health in Indonesia and Korean Diabetes Society.

In Malaysia, we’ve entered into a year-long collaboration focused on a number of nutrition workshops that will include our leading nutrition experts. We are also working with Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) to establish a variety of workshops and events including some of our leading specialists on sports science and nutrition speaking about sports supplements myths and facts with professors and students of the Faculty of Sports Science and Recreation.

In Vietnam, we have partnered with National Institute of Nutrition on a variety of projects, the most recent being assistance with a nationwide public health survey to help the Ministry of Health properly assess and track health issues and outcomes in the country. We have also worked closely with the Vietnam Women’s Union on workshops focused on nutrition for women, new mothers, with a focus on healthy eating and building sound nutrition habits for families.

We also have longstanding partnerships with the Govt of Indonesia through the vice president’s office for diabetes screening and through GERMAS (Healthy Living Community Movement) a program of the Ministry of Health where we’ve served as a trusted partner in sharing and disseminating information from GERMAS’ many public health campaigns, with the help of our distributor networks

Concurrently, the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation works with 38 community-based partners to help bring healthy nutrition to more than 112,000 children under the Casa Herbalife program in APAC.

On a global scale, our Nutrition for Zero Hunger (NFZH) initiative has been working with non-profit partners to provide resources, meals and education to help feed those in need. To date NFZH has:

  • Made available nearly 700,000 nutritious meals to children and families
  • Delivered more than 500,000 servings of donated products and 3,500 pounds of food to families in need
  • Provided 47,000 women with breastfeeding and nutrition education for healthy child development
  • Provided 40,000 children with essential dietary supplements to reduce nutrient deficiency and support healthy child development

In its first year, the initiative announced partnerships Feed the Children, The Hunger Project, Chrysalis, National Hispanic Council on Aging and the Chinese Red Cross Foundation.

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