Abbott, Real Madrid soccer club & Real Madrid Foundation launch 'Beat Malnutrition' campaign to supply malnutrition screening tools to local communities to reduce childhood malnutrition; malnutrition affects 1 in 3 people of all ages globally

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ABBOTT PARK, Illinois , May 31, 2023 (press release) –

  • Abbott, Real Madrid and the Real Madrid Foundation launch 'Beat Malnutrition' campaign as part of a sustained collaboration urging communities to work together to reduce malnutrition
  • Campaign will supply malnutrition screening tools to local communities and provide funding for malnutrition programs at Real Madrid Foundation Social Sports Schools
  • Abbott study finds only 36% of U.S. parents were extremely confident that they could identify malnutrition in their child, while just 29% have consulted with a doctor/nutritionist about malnutrition

Abbott (NYSE: ABT), Real Madrid and the Real Madrid Foundation announced today the launch of the 'Beat Malnutrition' campaign during Real Madrid's final match weekend of the 2022/2023 LaLiga season. The new campaign empowers communities to help children reach their full potential through nutrition education and malnutrition screening and furthers Abbott's partnership with Real Madrid and the Real Madrid Foundation to reduce global childhood malnutrition.

Earlier this year, five United Nations (UN) agencies labeled malnutrition a threat to children's long-term health and development and called1 for urgent action against the issue. As the Health Sciences and Nutrition Partner of the Real Madrid Football Club and Global Partner of the Real Madrid Foundation, Abbott and the club are working together to tackle malnutrition through programs at Real Madrid Foundation Social Sports Schools focused on education and malnutrition screening.

"Malnutrition is not always identified early, so it's critical to make people aware and give them tools to help find it through regular screening and monitoring of children," said Ann Smith, co-lead of the Abbott Center for Malnutrition Solutions. "In partnership with Real Madrid and through the 'Beat Malnutrition' campaign, we're teaching kids about healthy living and training communities to find malnutrition in kids so they can be referred for additional support and resources."

Tackling Malnutrition on Match Day

During Real Madrid's final match weekend of the 2022/2023 LaLiga season (June 3-4), Abbott and Real Madrid will highlight the issue of malnutrition on a global stage to promote nutrition education and encourage more children to be screened as a first step in beating malnutrition.

Abbott and Real Madrid co-created custom designed 'Beat Malnutrition' armbands inspired by the Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) z-score tape, an innovative and easy-to-use tool that screens for malnutrition in children. The armbands will be distributed to Real Madrid players prior to kickoff of their June 4 match against Athletic Bilbao and worn by fans attending the match at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium to drive awareness of the efforts to beat malnutrition. Additionally, Abbott will donate more than 10,000 MUAC z-score tapes to communities across the globe in need of the critical tool.

Abbott and the Real Madrid Foundation will also host the first-ever 'Run to Beat Malnutrition' 5K and 10K races in Madrid on Saturday, June 3, where participants will run at Real Madrid's training facilities to raise awareness for the cause. All proceeds from the race will go to fund malnutrition education and screening at global Real Madrid Foundation Social Sports Schools. Additionally, Abbott will host a virtual edition of the race through the Abbott World Marathon Majors Global Run Club, a virtual community for marathon runners, to extend the reach of the event and its important message to a global audience. For every runner who participates in the virtual race, Abbott will donate $5 to the Real Madrid Foundation to help fight malnutrition.

Abbott also launched the website featuring key resources on childhood malnutrition and information about the 'Beat Malnutrition' campaign.

Teaming Up to Beat Malnutrition

Malnutrition affects 1 in 3 people of all ages, all countries and all socioeconomic classes. Of those2:

  • 149 million children around the world under age five are estimated to be below a healthy height for their age (stunting)
  • 45 million children under age five are below a healthy weight for their height (wasting)
  • 39 million children aged five and younger are above a healthy weight for their height (overweight)

Under the Abbott Center for Malnutrition Solutions – a collaboration between the company and external partners focused on reducing malnutrition globally – Abbott works with the Real Madrid Foundation Social Sports Schools to support at-risk children around the world reach their goal of a healthier life. Activities between the groups include:

  • Implementing a health and nutrition curriculum called Future Well Kids, created by the Abbott Fund and Discovery Education, that's delivered more than 16,000 hours of education to children in nine countries (U.S., U.K., Brazil, Colombia, India, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines), and teaches them about the relationship between diet and chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Training Real Madrid Foundation coaches to use the MUAC z-score tape to help families learn their child's nutritional status, which is an important step on the path to prevention. By using the tape, parents, teachers, and coaches are empowered to identify children at risk and help connect them to healthcare professionals and resources to get appropriate support. Abbott has launched its nutrition screening program in Mexico, India, and the U.S., with the goal of screening more than 2,500 children in nine countries by the end of the program's first year.

The Abbott Center for Malnutrition Solutions and Real Madrid partnership support Abbott's goal of transforming care for malnutrition and improving the lives of more than 3 billion people per year by the decade's end.

Malnutrition Closer Than Parents Think 

An Abbott survey, fielded by YouGov, of 1,012 United States parents3 found that while they appear to be aware of malnutrition, there are significant gaps in their understanding of the issue, its prevalence in the U.S., and how to correctly identify symptoms.

  • A Lack of Awareness: While 87% of U.S. parents are at least somewhat familiar with the term and topic of 'malnutrition,' and 75% believe it's a serious issue in the U.S., 67% say malnutrition impacts other countries more than it impacts the U.S. Knowing malnutrition can exist anywhere is an important first step in the identification of the issue.
  • Challenges in Identification: Though they might be aware of the issue, spotting it continues to prove challenging, as just 36% of parents were extremely confident they could identify malnutrition in their child, and just 29% have consulted with a doctor/nutritionist about malnutrition and their child.
    • Furthermore, only 59% and 64% of parents were at least somewhat familiar with 'stunting' and 'wasting', respectively, two forms of malnutrition.
    • Many parents are also missing other important warning signs. When asked about the relationship between malnutrition and its ten symptoms as defined by the World Health Organization and National Health Service (e.g., reduced appetite, feeling tired all the time, feeling weaker, behavioral and emotional issues, etc.), no symptom saw more than 47% of parents being able to strongly connect it to malnutrition.
  • Simple Tools Can Help: 73% of parents report they are likely to screen their children for malnutrition if a simple tool was easily available to them, highlighting the importance of resources like the MUAC z-score tape and awareness programs like the 'Beat Malnutrition' campaign in reducing malnutrition.

The results of the survey indicate there is a strong need for ongoing awareness surrounding childhood malnutrition in the U.S. Together, Abbott and Real Madrid are committed to furthering real-world programs to help beat malnutrition.

About Real Madrid C.F.

Real Madrid C.F. is a sport entity with 121 years of history. It is the club with the most European Cups of both football (14) and basketball (11) and was awarded by FIFA as the Best Club of the twentieth century. Real Madrid has millions of fans in all corners of the world, with more than 462 million followers on social media, and is for the fourth year in a row the most valuable football club in Europe according to The European Elite 2022 report. Real Madrid is the most valuable football brand in the world for Brand Finance for the fourth year in a row. More information about Real Madrid C.F. is available at, the most visited football club website for the sixth consecutive year.

About the Real Madrid Foundation

The Real Madrid Foundation is the instrument by which Real Madrid is present in society and develops its social and cultural awareness programs. Its main objective is to promote the values of sport, and its role as an educational tool capable of contributing to the comprehensive development of the personality of those who practice it. In addition, as a means of social integration of those who find themselves suffering from any form of marginalisation, discrimination, or social exclusion.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 115,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.

Connect with us at, on LinkedIn at, on Facebook at and on Twitter @AbbottNews.

1 World Health Organization, Urgent action needed as acute malnutrition threatens the lives of millions of vulnerable children

2 World Health Organization, Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates

3 Any reference to U.S. parents is a U.S. parent with at least one child under 18 years of age


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