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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Five-a-day and fit-for-life badge programs for cancer prevention in boy scouts

item Lu, Amy
item Baranowski, Janice
item Thompson, Debbe
item Cullen, Karen
item Jago, Russ
item Buday, Richard
item Baranowski, Tom

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/30/2011
Publication Date: 10/25/2011
Citation: Lu, A.S., Baranowski, J., Thompson, D., Cullen, K.W., Jago, R., Buday, R., Baranowski, T. 2011. Five-a-day and fit-for-life badge programs for cancer prevention in Boy Scouts. In: Elk, R., Landrine, H., editors. Cancer Disparities: Causes, Evidence-based Solutions. New York, NY: Springer Publishing, p.169-192.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Ethnic minority children experience disparities in regard to diet, physical activity, and the resulting increased risks for obesity and adult cancers. Fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and physical activity (PA) are behaviors directly related to childhood obesity and adult cancer prevention. Helping children eat more FV and participate in more PA should have immediate and long term health benefits. This chapter describes two theory-based innovative Boy Scout badge programs, 5 A Day and Fit for Life, conducted with Boy Scout troops in Houston, TX. Each badge program included nine-sessions of in-troop activities plus corresponding weekly Internet activities. Weekly in-troop sessions focused on skill building activities that taught the scouts functional knowledge and skills to enhance their self-efficacy, thereby allowing them to achieve their behavior goals. The online components incorporated role modeling, goal setting, goal review and problem solving elements that allowed the scouts to set and review their behavioral change goals, and solve potential problems. Both badge programs resulted in significant behavior change. The combination of in-person and Internet-based scouting programs was an effective method of obesity and cancer prevention related behavior change. An intervention designed for use by one ethnic group was shown to effect behavior change in children in all ethnic groups.

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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