Background and Context:
Cancer has been the leading cause of death in Taiwan since 1982. The average age of those diagnosed with cancer shows a downward trend. The dietary factors such as more westernized style with too much meat, high fat, high calories and low intake of vegetable and fruits have been accounted as one of the major reasons.
The Formosa Cancer Foundation (FCF) targeted at the elementary school students and developed the "Vegetable and Fruit Checkbook (VFC) "program in the elementary schools nationwide to encourage consuming adequate portions of vegetable and fruits to lower the cancer risks.
FCF launched the interactive VFC program in 2007. The designated tasks on the checkbook are positive tasks such as eating proper daily servings of fruits and vegetables, teaching their parents about how to count one portion , deliver the messages of the important benefits of plant-based diet etc.
Parents must participate by signing each check to verify their child has finished the required task. The back side of each piece of the checkbook provides nutrition information and can be used as a coupon for NT$15 (USD 50 Cents) off when purchasing vegetable and fruits in the supermarket chainstores nationwide. Kids who finish their entire checkbook can send the stubs to FCF for a lucky draw.
Outcomes/What was learned:
1 The checkbooks have been an effective way of enhancing family interaction and spreading the message out on fruit and vegetablehealth benefits.
2. It shows children know even more accurate about “5-A- Day” than parents did (75% vs 57 %), most children are able to clearly deliver the “5-A-Day” message to their parents.
3. The use of the VFC program to generate childres's influence upon parents can greatly leverage the effect of promoting ” 5-A-Day” and health promotion information to the adults.