High 5 Flyers Program

Highlights
Program Title High 5 Flyers Program
Purpose Designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among elementary school students. (2004)
Program Focus Behavior Modification
Population Focus School Children
Topic Diet/Nutrition, Obesity
Age Children (0-10 years)
Gender Female, Male
Race/Ethnicity White, not of Hispanic or Latino origin
Setting School-based
Origination United States
Funded by NCI (Grant number(s): CA59805)
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The Need
Higher intake of fruits and vegetables has been associated with lower rates of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and multiple other diseases.  Despite substantial evidence for the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, American children and adolescents are not meeting recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption.  Effective intervention programs are critically needed to increase fruit and vegetable intake among young children, when eating habits are being formed.
The Program

High 5 Flyers is designed to increase student consumption of fruits and vegetables among elementary school children. Implemented in the school cafeteria, the program is based on social learning theory and focuses on key environmental factors that are predictive of children's eating behavior.  Based on these factors, the program 1) increases opportunities to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, 2) provides new healthful role models who eat fruits and vegetables, and 3) increases social support for children to eat fruits and vegetables at lunch.

The High 5 Flyers Cafeteria program includes "daily" and "special" activities that are implemented throughout the school year in the school cafeteria.

Daily activities aim to increase the availability, accessibility and appeal of fruits and vegetables.  These activities include:

  • Verbally encouraging students to take fruits and vegetables on the line
  • Making fruits and vegetables look appealing
  • Offering a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on the menu
  • Increasing students' opportunities to choose among the fruits and vegetables served

Special activities aim to increase motivation and peer and adult support for eating fruits and vegetables.  Special activities include:

  • A 2-week kick-off, where the High 5 Flyers ("life-size" fruit and vegetable characters) are introduced as role models for eating fruits and vegetables
  • Monthly sampling of new fruits and vegetables, served by students at their lunch tables and subsequently incorporated into the menu
  • A mid-year Challenge Week, where children strive to eat 3 servings of fruits and vegetables each day at lunch to reach a classroom goal
  • A program finale to end the program and remind students to continue eating fruits and vegetables 
Community Preventive Services Task Force Finding
Guide to Community Preventive Services This program uses intervention approaches recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force: meal and fruit and vegetable snack interventions to increase healthier foods and beverages provided by schools (Obesity) and multicomponent interventions to increase availability of healthier foods and beverages in schools (Obesity). This program also uses the following intervention approach for which the Community Preventive Services Task Force finds insufficient evidence: school-based programs promoting nutrition and physical activity (Diet/Nutrition). Insufficient evidence means the available studies do not provide sufficient evidence to determine if the intervention is or is not effective. This does not mean that the intervention does not work. It means that additional research is needed to determine whether the intervention is effective.

To expand understanding of this intervention category consider communicating with members from NCI's Research to Reality (R2R) community of practice who may be able to help you with your research efforts. Following is a link to start an online discussion with the R2R community of practice, after completing registration on the R2R site: https://researchtoreality.cancer.gov/discussions.

Time Required
  • Three hour training for food service staff at the beginning of the first year of the intervention
  • Work closely with district food service staff to increase the variety and quantity of fruits and vegetables served in school lunch
  • During regularly scheduled meetings with cook managers, discuss and share implementation issues and new ideas from individual cafeterias
  • Daily activities take very little or no additional staff time
  • Special events typically take about 15-20 minutes on the days they occur
Intended Audience
The intended audience is elementary school children.
Suitable Settings
The intervention is suitable for implementation in cafeterias within grade-school settings.
Required Resources
The required resources are the High 5 Flyers Program Manual, Food Service Staff Training Packet, 10 High 5 Flyers character posters, a kickoff banner, an "Eat 3 at Lunch" banner, and a Challenge Week Scoreboard.  Costs include reproduction of optional handout materials for students and parents and costs of fruits and vegetables for the samplings.
About the Study
High 5 Flyers was evaluated using a randomized control group research design involving 26 elementary schools and 1,668 participating first- and third-grade students over a 2-year period. Thirteen schools were randomly assigned to the intervention, and the remaining 13 served as a delayed-program control group. The outcomes included fruit and vegetable intake, measured through direct observation of randomly selected students by trained observers at baseline and 2 years later.
Key Findings
  • At 2-year follow-up, students in High 5 Flyers schools consumed 0.16 more total daily servings of fruits/includes juice (p=.01) and 0.17 more total daily servings of fruit/no juices (p<.01) than students in control schools.  While there was a reduction in vegetable intake, it was not statistically significant. 

             Graph of Study Results

  • A process evaluation of intervention components found that verbal encouragement from Food Service Staff was significantly associated with students selecting certain combinations of fruit and vegetable for consumption.

 

Related Programs
The High 5 Flyers Program program is related to the following:

Please click on the related program(s) to review.

5-a-Day Power Plus in that:

  • High 5 Flyers Program is a modification of 5-a-Day Power Plus.
  • They are by the same developer/investigator with the same theoretical basis, focus but have different materials that are designed for different target audiences.

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Updated: 11/01/2017
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