Pop star Raffi Boghossian visited 126 School “Petko Todorov” in the capital to award the most active students who created their own exhibition entitled “Water In Our Lives”

Over 200 children from first to seventh grade celebrated the World Water Day in 126 Primary School “Petko Todorov” in Sofia as part of the Healthy Kids in Bulgaria Programme, organized by Nestlé Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Association for the Study of Obesity and Related Diseases (BASORD). Students prepared a special exhibition entitled “Water In Our Lives” to promote the importance of daily water consumption as part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle. One of the hit young performers and the winner of the first season of the
music show X Factor, Raffi Boghossian, was a special guest at the event, which was held on March 21, 2014 at 126 Primary School.

Raffi looked at the children’s work and talked to them and their parents about the importance of water consumption for their health, after which he awarded all participants in the exhibition with Healthy Kids in Bulgaria certificates. Parents received materials with valuable information and tips on how to motivate children to drink 8 glasses of water a day, and the most active students were honored by the guest star of the event and took pictures with him as a souvenir. Special guest was Mrs. Silva Avramova Radilova, Deputy Mayor of
Triaditsa District in Sofia Municipality as an active project partner.

The educational program for balanced nutrition and physical activity at school, Healthy Kids in Bulgaria, funded by Nestlé Bulgaria and developed together with BASORD, was launched in 10 schools in Sofia in 2012 and attracted over 3,500 families in the districts – Triaditsa and Studentski in Sofia. By the end of the 2013-2014 academic year, more than 10 schools in Lyulin will participate in the initiative, which aims to introduce training for a balanced diet and physical activity among students aged 7 to 13 years, involving their parents and teachers.

In 2013, as a good practice in the field of educational programs for balanced nutrition and physical activity in Europe, Healthy Kids in Bulgaria became part of the European project EPHE (EPODE For the Promotion of Health Equity), funded by the European Commission
and implemented in 7 countries in Europe: Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal and Romania. The activities dedicated to the World Water Day are organized as part of EPHE and took place simultaneously in all seven countries in Europe, where the project is implemented. Thus Sofia joined the efforts of other cities in Belgium, France, Greece, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, in the promotion of the importance of water consumption for a healthy lifestyle – one of the focus areas of the EPHE project.

“Regular consumption of water is essential for the proper development of children as part of a balanced diet. Children should drink an average of 8 glasses of water a day to be properly hydrated. To maintain water balance in the child’s body and to compensate for the
loss of water during the day, it is important for children to adopt healthy habits from an early age. This can be done by building habits to drink water regularly both at home and at school,” said Prof. Svetoslav Handjiev, head of EPHE for Bulgaria, chairman of BASORD and
member of the European Academy of Nutritional Sciences (EANS) and the World and European Association for the Study of Obesity.
“Most people know that obesity in children is due to genetic causes, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. Recent studies, however, show that insomnia and insufficient water consumption are also factors that affect children,” said Dr. Jean-Michel Borys, Director
General of the EPODE International Network, working on 35 projects in 25 countries, including Bulgaria. During his visit to Bulgaria on the occasion of the International Day against Obesity, traditionally celebrated by BASORD on October 24, Dr. Borys said that for
the past 20 years the number of obese children worldwide has doubled.

EPHE (EPODE for the Promotion of Health Equity) is a 3-year pan-European project co-funded by the European Commission that seeks to reduce the health gap between socioeconomic groups in four main areas: water consumption; variety in fruits and vegetables consumption, physical inactivity and sleep in terms of quality and duration. In Bulgaria, the project will expand the activities by incorporating information to promote the consumption of dairy products in households. Within a three year project, which is implemented in the period 2012-2015, a pilot study is conducted in seven cities in Europe to apply the methodology of the largest international network for the prevention of childhood obesity EPODE, including Healthy Kids in Bulgaria.

More about Healthy Kids in Bulgaria:

Healthy Kids in Bulgaria is an educational program for a healthy lifestyle in school, funded by Nestlé Bulgaria, which started in 2012 in 10 metropolitan schools and attracted over 3,500 families with children between the ages of 7 and 13 in two Sofia districts – Triaditsa and Studentski. The program holds events and activities aimed at families and the society through the involvement of private and public partners. Healthy Kids in Bulgaria was developed jointly with the Bulgarian Association for the Study of Obesity and Related Diseases (BASORD) and supported by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Health, Sofia Municipality, the Bulgarian Gymnastics Federation, the Bulgarian Athletics Federation and Euro-Toques Bulgaria.

The program organizes fun and attractive lessons in balanced nutrition, games and competitions at school and outdoors, engaging children by provoking their interest in a balanced diet and sports. The lessons are supplemented by classes in healthy cooking, where children help to prepare a balanced school menu. As part of the program and in partnership with the Bulgarian Athletics Federation, Healthy Kids in Bulgaria takes part in the international project IAAF Kids Athletics. All schools participating in Healthy Kids in Bulgaria are included in the project and participate in athletics training and competitions for children. Over 2014 children, parents and teachers from 10 more schools in Lyulin will participate in Healthy Kid in Bulgaria, and the most active participants in the program will have the opportunity to spend a week at the seaside, taking part in the second edition of the “Health School for Children, Parents and Teachers” initiative, organized by BASORD under the patronage of Prof. Aneliya Klisarova, Minister of Education.

More about the EPHE project:

The EPHE project is a pan-European project (2012-2015), co-funded by the European Commission to analyze the added value of the implementation of EPODE methodology for the reduction of health inequalities in the field of a balanced diet and physical activity in families with children aged 6 to 12, and the opportunities to sustain the implementation of EPODE programmes via EU structural funds by the end of 2015. As part of the project, the eating habits and lifestyle of 1100 children and their families in seven European Union countries, including Bulgaria, will be examined for three years. Other partners in EPHE include universities and Community-based programs across all 7 European Member States.