In recent years, over 1,500 teachers across nearly 4,500 classes throughout Austria have participated in this educational programme.
“SIPCAN’s nutritional programme is a great way to teach children about conscious nutrition in a playful way. It helps them understand the effects of food and enjoy tasty treats without excessive sugar. It is essential that children relearn this natural taste and thus the real enjoyment of food”, explained SPAR Austria board member Markus Kaser.
About 240,000 children and adolescents in Austria suffer from overweight or obesity according to a recent WHO/Europe study. This issue often results from large portions, high-calorie and sugary foods, and a lack of exercise. In order to counteract this trend, prevention from childhood onwards is particularly important. On the other hand, however, nutritional education in Austrian schools is becoming less and less important.
This makes initiatives at Austrian schools such as this one all the more important. This programme teaches children basic information about food, micronutrients, and a healthy diet, based on the children’s own snacks. Parents are also involved in the programme, helping their children implement what they have learned. The programme concludes with both theoretical and practical exams. According to Univ.-Prof. Prim. Dir. Dr. Friedrich Hoppichler, Chairman of SIPCAN, and Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Director at a Salzburg hospital, the programme is effective.
He explained: “An intervention study we conducted, published in the renowned journal ‘European Journal of Public Health’ in 2021, clearly demonstrates the positive effects. Children who completed the programme not only have better nutritional knowledge but also reduced their sugar consumption by 10%.”
You can find more information about the programme here.
Source: SPAR Austria
The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954, but the current SPAR AG was created in 1970 when the original founding families joined other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG – a 100% privately owned Austrian company. With licences granted by SPAR International, ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG) has developed the brand in Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, and Northern Italy.