Examination of the adherence to the "5 a day the color way" campaign among parents and their preschool children

Marilyn S. Nanney, Rebecca Schermbeck, Debra Haire-Joshu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background. The evidence of health benefits associated with the consumption of a variety fruits and vegetables (FV) is well known. The "5 A Day Color Way" campaign is a national effort to translate the science with a message of increased colorful FV consumption for the public. The extent of the translation and adherence to these recommendations among families in a community setting is an important public health question. Methods. Parents enrolled in 8 rural Missouri county parent education programs answered surveys for their preschool children (n = 1658) about FV consumption and barriers to purchasing them by color. Results. Of parents, 40% (n = 668) and 26% (n = 425) of children ate from all 5 colors some time the previous week. However, no parents and only 1 child attained perfect adherence to the guidelines (all 5 colors most days of the week). Disliking the taste and not in the habit of purchasing colorful FV were significant predictors for not meeting recommendations for red, yellow/orange, and green FV. Conclusions. Interventions targeting young children and their families (ie, child care settings, elementary schools) that establish preference for color specific FV may be ideal in rural communities to encourage movement toward adherence to the campaign.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-180
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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