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Ekenasio teams up with Beko to promote healthy eating

The 2017/2018 New Zealand Health Survey revealed one in eight children (aged 2-14) are obese, attributing a lack of access to healthy foods inside and outside the home as a key contributor to the increasing child obesity rate.

The World Health Organization estimates by the year 2025 there will be more than 70 million children in the world suffering from obesity.

It is an alarming finding and it’s why global sporting superstars including one of the world’s greatest football clubs, FC Barcelona, and New Zealand’s very own netball superstar, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, have teamed up with the goal to change how kids and parents view healthy eating.

The global ‘Eat Like A Pro’ campaign by leading European home appliance manufacturer, Beko, aims to help parents inspire their kids to eat healthier and tackle the global issue of childhood obesity by showing children what their heroes eat.

Beko’s New Zealand Eat Like A Pro ambassador, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, said as a mum, she has newfound respect for the importance of a well-balanced diet in supporting her own professional regime and motherhood but for her son’s development as well.

“As a professional athlete, it’s extremely important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet amidst all my training but since becoming a mum, I’ve realised why it’s so important for growing and active children to be doing the same to ensure they receive enough nutrients to build strong bones and fuel them with the right energy each day,” said Ekenasio.

“It’s why I’ve joined Beko in their global mission to encourage kids in New Zealand to eat healthy food, just like their sporting heroes.”

Danny Tanielu, Beko’s New Zealand Manager of Healthy Ambassadors, says the brand has been long-time investors in supporting grassroots talent and its involvement with Netball New Zealand (NNZ) meant having Ameliaranne as its Eat Like A Pro ambassador was the perfect courtship.

“As the naming partner of Netball NZ’s Beko Netball League, Beko is raising the obesity discussion on the national stage and are thrilled to have the support of one of New Zealand’s most recognisable female athletes, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, on our team to help change the way children and families view healthy eating,” Tanielu said.

Netball New Zealand Chief Executive Jennie Wyllie, said this is the fourth year that Beko has been a major supporter of Netball in New Zealand and the Eat Like a Pro message is one that the organisation also stands by.

“Netball is a demanding sport and for this reason healthy eating and nutrition form a key part of our program for all involved from players to umpires, coaches and managers,” said Wyllie.

“Right down to the junior level, we recognise that maintaining adequate nutrition is important for children’s overall health, growth and development on and off the court and our Premier players play a role in encouraging and inspiring these healthy habits from the very beginning.”

Over the years, maintaining healthy eating patterns has increased in difficulty for parents, children are eating less fresh fruit, vegetables and fish and more fat and sugar with the ease of ready-made and fast food takeaway meal options, solving time-poor busy lifestyles.

Tanielu said parents are growing more and more time-poor, balancing a multitude of activities and responsibilities; meaning healthy eating can often be a second thought for the household.

“We understand that it can be hard to make fresh and healthy food exciting and sometimes it’s a struggle to prepare and cook a nutritious meal; that’s why Eat Like A Pro by Beko has parents covered with over 100 recipes created by FC Barcelona’s nutritionists that are simple and nutritious for all the family to enjoy.

“With our range of innovative appliance technologies that make healthy eating quicker and simpler, as well as storing fresh fruit and vegetables for longer, we hope to make a difference to New Zealand families and child obesity globally with Eat Like A Pro,” Tanielu said.

For further information and recipe inspiration from Beko’s Eat Like A Pro campaign, visit www.eatlikeaprobybeko.co.nz

To view the Beko Netball League draw and find an event near you, click here or tune into the games live on SKY Sport.