Posts Tagged ‘malnutrition’

h1

A Pepsi a day keeps the doctor away

March 2, 2009

A deadly diet

Parents everywhere are concerned about their childrens diets.

Parents everywhere are concerned about their children's diets.

The kids I babysit think Doritos and Mountain Dew sounds like a perfectly reasonable lunch; their mom has a different opinion.

Countless parents (including mine) try to regulate their children’s “junk food” intake, and a trip to the supermarket can result in a full-fledged tantrum over a can of soda pop or bag of potato chips.

Unfortunately, some moms and dads are concerned about their children’s diets for a different reason. Impoverished families around the world are unable to adequately feed their babies and young children, and millions of children die each year due to malnutrition. In 2007, CBS reported that almost half of all children in India were malnourished and the infant mortality rate was 57 per 100,000.

To the rescue

One of the largest food and drink companies in the world, PepsiCo, has announced its intention to fight hunger in developing countries, with a special focus on children under the age of five. The corporation, which houses snack food and beverage brands including Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Tropicana, Quaker and Pepsi-Cola,  has decided to put some of its profits toward social responsibility.

On Feb. 19, PepsiCo announced a three-year grant that will contribute $5 million to Save the Children, the leading organization dedicated to improving the lives of children around the world. The grant aims to improve the health of young children in rural Bangladesh and India, where 40 percent of the world’s malnourished children live.

PepsiCo will donate $5 million to help malnourished children in Bangladesh and India.

PepsiCo will donate $5 million to help malnourished children in Bangladesh and India.

The grant will go toward providing the areas with nutrient-rich food, as well as funding for social programs to address nutrition and poverty in these developing areas.

A news release on CSRwire announced the combined efforts of PepsiCo and Save the Children will improve the lives of more than 650,000 children and expecting mothers over the next three years.

Mission: Social Responsibility

This partnership with Save the Children backs PepsiCo’s mission and vision statements, which present the company as a corporate citizen dedicated to the betterment of the world. The company Web site says PepsiCo’s vision is “to continually improve all aspects of the world in which we operate – environment, social, economic – creating a better tomorrow than today.”

PepsiCo is one of the worlds largest food and beverage producers.

PepsiCo is one of the world's largest food and beverage producers.

The site also expresses the company’s impression that corporate responsibility is good for business: “At PepsiCo, we believe being a responsible corporate citizen is not only the right thing to do, but the right thing to do for our business.”

PepsiCo may be on to something, as the company donated a total $74.8 million in contributions but brought in more than $43 billion in revenue in 2008. Remaining dedicated to its social mission has served PepsiCo well for more than a century, and the company provides a model for organizations looking to give back to the community.

As one of the world’s largest snack food and soda producers, PepsiCo may not immediately come to mind as a leader in health promotion. However, the effects of the Save the Children grant will mean life and improved health for thousands of kids in India and Bangladesh.

Maybe Fritos and Pepsi should be considered health foods after all.

Advertisements