Fitness & Nutrition Awards 2019

GHP / Fitness & Nutrition Awards 2019 19 , Oct19024 Best Youth Nutrition Education Centre – Portugal & GHP Innovation Award for Obesity Prevention Initiatives 2019 Vitamimos is a truly socially-focused business with the aim to tackle childhood obesity. With numerous accolades under their belt for their extraordinary work, we caught up with Ana Quintas who provided us with a behind the scenes glimpse into this innovative youth nutrition education centre in Portugal. Founded in 2007 following the challenge proposed by DNA for the 1st Cascais Business Ideas Contest, Vitamimos aims to be an autonomous, dynamic reference in the area of health promotion and obesity prevention. Today, the firm’s nutrition education centre, located in a public garden (Cascais- Portugal), develops several programmes to empower kids and youngsters to adopt healthier eating habits and lifestyles. Vitamimos has a variety of activities for individuals to participate in, which include hands-on cooking and nutrition education programmes for young people. The children’s cooking classes are designed to introduce the fun of preparing and enjoying healthy food that is both, nutritious and delicious, an essential for tackling obesity. By creating a positive food environment within school classes, Vitamimos will help to motivate children to prepare their own meals. Going into further detail, Ana begins by informing us of the results this proposed solution will have on young people. “To date, the results obtained are considered very good. The evaluation by teachers, participants and families show that we are having the desired impact we set out to achieve. This unique initiative offers several services in order to counteract childhood obesity. From a cafeteria in the park, birthday parties with healthy snacks, catering services, cooking classes, workshops in the kitchen garden, along with the school programmes like Health Chefs and Eco-Chefs, each element has been designed with young people in mind.” In Portugal, 32.1% of children between the ages of six and nine years old are currently classified as overweight, and 14.5% are obese. Childhood obesity affects more social deprived regions, that includes Portugal which has recently suffered a severe economic crisis. As such, this justifies the importance of Vitamimos’ work, but it also acknowledges the challenges they face. Nevertheless, the organization’s location in Cascais, in the Lisbon District, remains a significant advantage because the municipality provides an important investment on the prevention and health promotion of the population in this area. Supporting the organization in their mission to tackle childhood obesity, is the committed and passionate team working at Vitamimos. When discussing the techniques Vitamimos employs to ensure they are able to go the extra mile for those they serve, Ana is keen to cast a light on the significant role the team plays in the overall success of the company. “Here at Vitamimos, we are fortunate to have a highly motivated and well-prepared team of nutritionists who bring their own creative approaches to tasks and challenges.” Overall, the team at Vitamimos wishes that everyone would join the cause. Their “Carrot Lollipop” Campaign is a delicious symbol which highlights how simple gestures can make a significant difference. Looking ahead, Ana signs off by revealing what the future has in store for the organization, and how the team hopes to further expand their business, presence and services in the years to come. “Ultimately, we wish to spread our initiative, not only in Portugal but also in other Mediterranean countries. In 2020, we will be launching a new programme targeting overweight and obese children that will be based on a new methodology we are testing and developing.” Contact: Ana Quintas Address: Espaço Vitamimos, Jardim da Qta da Alagoa, R. Henrique António da Mota, 2775- 700 Carcavelos Telephone: +351 9180 86088 Web Address: Email: [email protected]