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Diet, Purity of Food Source Could be Keys to Improving Health of Hong Kong Toddlers

HONG KONG, June 2 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- During a press conference announcing the results of a recent study on toddler health in Hong Kong, Ms. Ingrid Kan, Accredited Dietician of St. Teresa's Hospital, said an imbalanced diet could cause a raft of health issues among toddlers, including nutritional deficiencies leading to impeded language development and gastrointestinal health problems potentially causing obesity. She also stated that many parents do not emphasize enough the importance of ingredients' nutritive value and their origins, which are essential for ensuring food quality and nutritional benefit. In addition, she said certain additives in toddler growing up milk, such as probiotics, could positively influence digestive health and immunity.

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Ms. Kan was giving her professional interpretation of the study, titled "Survey on Toddler Health in Hong Kong" and conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Among the more surprising results of the survey, nearly 90% of toddlers have visited the doctor over the past six months, mostly for illnesses related to the digestive and respiratory systems.

"Toddlerhood, from age one to three, is an important developmental stage," Ms. Kan said. "Foods and supplements that contain balanced levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients will go a long way toward ensuring a toddler's health and development. In addition, parents need to look at where ingredients come from. For example, cleaner, purer natural environments will produce purer milk and milk powder that is more nourishing and beneficial to health."

To deliver her point, Ms. Kan indicated to a flowchart and 3D diagram during the press conference to illustrate how pure water resources and environments generate healthier feed for dairy cattle, which in turn produce purer milk for human and toddler consumption.

    She also referenced the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), compiled in
2008 by Yale University, which evaluated 149 countries' performance in areas
including environmental health, air pollution, water pollution, biodiversity &
habitat, productive natural resources, forestry, fisheries, agriculture and
climate change.  A sample of the EPI:

    Ranking                 Country                                     Score
    1                       Switzerland                                 95.5
    2                       Sweden                                      93.1
    6                       Austria                                     89.4
    7                       New Zealand                                 88.9
    21                      Japan                                       84.5
    34                      Ireland                                     82.7
    39                      United States                               81.0
    46                      Australia                                   79.8
    55                      Netherlands                                 78.7

During her presentation, Miss Kan detailed a range of important ingredients that should be included in a toddler's diet. She stated that probiotics were associated with a wide array of health benefits and should be sought out when purchasing food products such as toddler formula. In addition, she emphasized the importance of Essential Fatty Acids, which play vital roles in bolstering toddlers' health.

When asked for his comments on the survey results, Mr. Heiko Schipper, Head of Milks Business Unit, Nestle Greater China Region, said Nestle was aware of the specific issues concerning toddler health, which had led the company to invest significant resources in new toddler milk called Nestle EXCEL, using milk from the company's native Switzerland and developed and manufactured at the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne.

"Nestle EXCEL provides a balanced proportion of Essential Fatty Acids and high quality DHA," Mr. Schipper said. "It also contains a high-quality probiotic, Bifidus BL(TM), which is the proprietary product of Nestle and has been shown to stimulate immune response, reduce inflammatory reactions in children suffering from allergies; it also shows a good level of adhesion to intestinal mucus and helps children have more desirable soft bowel movements.

"As Ms. Kan said, 'We get out of our bodies what we put into them,' and Nestle believes that what parents feed their toddlers should be the absolute best combination of science and nature to help them develop to their fullest potential."

Please visit for more information on Environmental Performance Index.

    Media contact:

     Stewart Chen; Isaac Chan
     Tel:   +852-2501-7986; 2501-7936

SOURCE Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies,CUHK;Nestle Hong Kong Ltd.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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