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J Cancer Educ. 1998 Fall;13(3):162-8.

"5 A Day" achievement badge for urban boy scouts: formative evaluation results.

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Department of Behavioral Science, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030-4095, USA.



Certain cancers are more common among African Americans (AA). Fruit and vegetables (F&V) reduce cancer risk, but Americans, and African Americans in particular, do not meet the "5 A Day" goal. Scouting organizations, particularly urban Boy Scout groups that target inner-city youth, provide promising channels for nutritional behavioral change programs.


Focus groups were conducted with urban Boy Scouts and their parents to identify factors influencing F&V consumption and evaluate potential intervention activities. Twenty-four-hour dietary recalls were collected from 85 area Boy Scouts. A national data set was used to obtain values for F&V consumption by African American and European American (boys age 0-16).


Vegetable preferences were low and a negative peer influence for vegetables was reported. The group has limited food-preparation skills, but both parents and scouts reported that F&V were available in their homes. Use of goal setting and use of problem-solving techniques were limited. The local scouts' mean F&V intake was 3.2 servings per day. Ethnic differences in F&V consumption were identified in the national data.


Based on these results and previous interventions in schools, an overall structure for the intervention was developed to include eight weekly troop sessions and two camping sessions, parent newsletters, seven weekly home badge assignments, and ten comic books.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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