Manila, Philippines – Girl Scouts of the Philippines and Nutrition International launched Girl Powered Nutrition (GPN), a new badge and advocacy campaign designed to highlight the need to improve girls’ nutrition. This is the first nutrition programme co-created by girls for girls.
Developed in partnership with Nutrition International and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), the GPN badge will increase girls’ knowledge of nutrition so they can make healthy choices for themselves and influence their communities to make nutrition a priority. It will reach 115,000 girl scouts in the Philippines by April 2020. The GPN advocacy campaign will also enable girls to be agents of change at local, national and global levels and advocate for an end to malnutrition.
“Girls everywhere have big dreams, but millions are held back by malnutrition – which stunts their physical and mental development, saps their energy and limits their potential,” said Joel Spicer, President and CEO of Nutrition International. “That is why Nutrition International worked with girl guides and girl scouts from around the world to build the Girl Powered Nutrition program. A curriculum built by girls, for girls to give them the tools they need to make their own decisions, take control of their own lives and reach for their dreams.”
Globally, girls are disproportionately affected by poor nutrition, and in the Philippines a growing number of girls are overweight or obese due to the wide availability of unhealthy foods, particularly in urban areas. Girls are also exposed to unhealthy food adverts on social media and television and generally, there is little knowledge among children and adolescents when it comes to understanding nutrition labels on pre-packed foods.
“We believe that government funding should be increased for nutrition-specific community and school-based programs focusing on physical activity and health education,” said Angelika Joy Binas, a Nutrition Advocacy Champion with Girl Scouts of the Philippines. “There should also be stronger regulation to prevent unhealthy food being advertised during shows that are popular with children. We hope that through the nutrition badge and advocacy campaign we can not only raise awareness but start to make these changes a reality.”
The launch event saw Girl Scout members leading attendees through several of the activities they must complete to earn the badge. Participants took part in several interactive activities that highlighted the importance of eating healthy, balanced meals. Legislators, city mayors, and media in attendance were also asked to commit to support and promote health and nutrition for girls by introducing improved food labeling, regulating food advertisements, and regulating the sale of junk food in and around schools.
In addition to the Philippines, the Girl Powered Nutrition program is also being implemented through WAGGGS Member Organizations in Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Tanzania, which were chosen because of their high rates of adolescent malnutrition among girls.
Find out more about the Girl Powered Nutrition Program