Merck's Consumer Health Leads Debate on Preparing Gen Z for 100 Healthy Years

DARMSTADT, Germany, November 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

- New whitepaper from Consumer Health business shines light on preparing the young
generation for living 100 healthy years 
- Whitepaper focuses on the importance to adopt good health habits early on to prevent
chronic conditions later in life 
- Addressing the challenges ahead requires collective efforts among all stakeholders

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The Consumer Health business of Merck, a leading science and technology company, released today a new whitepaper [ ] entitled "100 Healthy Years - Are Kids Prepared?" aimed at shining light on preparing the young generation for a new era of 100 healthy years. The publication follows the 2017 edition of Merck's Consumer Health "Global Consumer Health Debate", which gathered experts from the UN, UNICEF, UNAIDS, the World Obesity Federation, McKinsey and others to discuss how best to prepare kids for living 100 healthy years. The new whitepaper published today highlights the importance of adopting good health habits early on to ensure any additional years of life expectancy are lived healthy.

Uta Kemmerich-Keil, CEO and President of Merck's Consumer Health business, explains: "As the number of people aged 60 or above is expected to grow 56% between 2015 and 2030 - from 901 million to 1.4 billion - this whitepaper highlights the importance to focus on today children's health to address society's changing demographic and ensure today's kids approach older age in good health." While life expectancy is increasing worldwide, the 2015 Global Burden of Disease Study reports that non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease account for seven out of ten deaths worldwide[1]. In addition, the World Obesity Federation reports that over 223 million school children globally are overweight or obese and that this number is expected to reach 268 million by 2025[2].

This means those additional years of life expectancy could be lived in a disease state, showing the importance of healthy life expectancy as a KPI, i.e. the number of years an individual is expected to live in good health and free of long-term disability. While biological factors play a significant role in determining healthy life expectancy, non-biological factors, such as behavioral, economic, social, environmental, and cultural conditions, can be influenced and are equally important in determining lifelong health.

To participate in global efforts to address this situation, Merck's Consumer Health new whitepaper advocates for renewed collaboration between the main stakeholders, including educators, parents, policy makers, healthcare practitioners, and NGOs, to develop health education programs for school-aged children taking into account the prospective of living 100 healthy years. With support from research conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit in five countries, Merck's Consumer Health whitepaper provides a holistic view of the state of play of children's health today. It also takes a deep dive into healthy life expectancy, exploring health education programs in various countries, and providing a roadmap for achieving optimal outcomes for children's health over the long-term.

The white paper also features a case study of the GEN100[TM] program recently rolled out by Merck's Consumer Health in South Africa, and which aims at raising awareness on the importance of health programs and education in South Africa school's curriculum. Given the country's current health challenges, such as malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, and infectious diseases, it is vital to inform the younger generation to adopt healthy habits early on. The GEN100[TM] program convenes public and private partners, including Merck's Consumer Health and the South African Ministry of Basic Education, to teach children how to live longer and healthier lives. GEN100[TM] is currently operating in more than 40 schools and touches upon nutrition, obesity, diabetes, and physical exercise topics. Key element of this program is quantitative measurement to be able to evaluate the mid- and long-term effects and impact of such educational awareness program.

The white paper released today is a part of Merck Consumer Health's WE100(R) movement, which aims to help prepare society for a new era of humans living 100 healthy years. WE100 (R) is a brand neutral initiative supporting all generations and cultural backgrounds globally. 

- Merck's Consumer Health new whitepaper "100 Healthy Years - Are Kids Prepared?"
can be accessed
- Merck's Global Consumer Health Debate entitled "100 Healthy Years: Are Kids
Prepared?" took place in Darmstadt, Germany, on Thursday, May 18, 2017.
- Further information, including the EIU study, is available at
- The global reach of the EIU study conducted research in the following countries:
Brazil, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa.
- Merck Consumer Health on Twitter:@Merck_CH /  
- WE100 on Facebook:

About the Consumer Health business of Merck  Brands of the Consumer Health business, such as Neurobion(R), Bion(R), Nasivin(R), Seven Seas(R), Dolo-Neurobion(R), and Femibion(R) are innovative leaders in key markets, backed by science and trusted by consumers worldwide. The Consumer Health business is with over 3,800 employees globally active in over 40 markets. The portfolio comprises of brands with annual total sales of about $ 1 billion. Consumer Health is a business of the Healthcare business sector within the Merck Group with global headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.

For more information please go to or .

All Merck Press Releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Website. Please go to to register online, change your selection or discontinue this service.

About Merck  Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life - from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2016, Merck generated sales of EUR 15.0 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

References: 1. "7 out of 10 people die globally of non-communicable diseases." British Heart Foundation, October 2016, . 2. "World obesity day infographic." World Obesity Federation, 2016, .

Contact: Lars Atorf, +49-6151-856-3114

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