Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #248835

Title: Boy Scout 5-a-day badge: Outcome results of a troop and internet intervention

item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe
item BARANOWSKI, TOM - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item BARANOWSKI, JANICE - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item CULLEN, KAREN - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item JAGO, RUSSELL - University Of Bristol
item WATSON, KATHY - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item LIU, YAN - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Preventive Medicine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2009
Publication Date: 12/1/2009
Citation: Thompson, D.J., Baranowski, T., Baranowski, J., Cullen, K., Jago, R., Watson, K., Liu, Y. 2009. Boy Scout 5-a-day badge: Outcome results of a troop and internet intervention. Preventive Medicine. 49(6):518-526.

Interpretive Summary: A nine-week badge program, called the Five-A-Day Badge Program, was designed to increase fruit, juice, and vegetable consumption among Boy Scouts. Fruit and vegetable consumption has been associated with decreased risk for chronic diseases, such as certain cancers and cardiovascular disease. Many youth do not eat recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables. Because adolescent eating behavior is somewhat stable into young-adulthood, effective methods for enhancing youth FV consumption are needed to reduce adult risk of chronic disease. The badge program was evaluated with 42 Troops (473 Scouts) in Houston, TX. The badge program provided approximately 55 minutes of weekly instruction, which included both in-troop activities led by trained study staff (approximately 30 minutes/week) and an internet program (approximately 25 minutes/week). The comparison group participated in a badge program promoting physical activity, which followed the same general structure as the Five-A-Day Badge Program. The 5-A-Day Badge program attained short-term increases in fruit-juice, but not low fat vegetable, consumption. Future research is needed to identify ways to increase low fat vegetable consumption and to maintain increases in both fruit-juice and low fat vegetable consumption over time.

Technical Abstract: The effects of a Boy Scout Five-A-Day Badge program on fruit-juice (FJ) and low fat vegetable (LV) consumption were evaluated using a two-condition (treatment, active-attention placebo-control) group randomized trial, with 3 data collection periods (baseline, immediate post, 6-month post). Forty-two Boy Scout troops (n=473 10-14 year-old scouts) in Houston, TX, were randomly assigned to condition. The 9-week program included approximately 30 minutes of weekly troop time, plus approximately 25 minutes of weekly internet programming. The intervention was delivered in two waves (spring, fall). Data were collected in 2003-2004, and analyses were completed in 2008. Main outcomes were FJ and LV consumption (validated food frequency questionnaire). FV self-efficacy, preferences, and home-availability were also measured. Results show significant increases in FJ consumption (p=.003), FJ home-availability (p=.009), and LV self-efficacy (p=.004) were observed among the intervention group immediately following the intervention, but were not maintained 6 months later. In conclusion, a Boy Scout troop-plus-internet intervention promoting FJ and LV consumption resulted in short-term changes in FJ consumption among US Boy Scouts. Future research should investigate ways to extend these results to LV and maintain the increases over time.