"Five-a-Day" Nutritional Program: AIT Joins Formosa Cancer Foundation in Promoting Better Nutrition for School Children in Taiwan
PR0776E | Date: 2007-12-11
The Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) of the American Institute in Taiwan and the Formosa Cancer Foundation (FCF) will jointly hold a lucky drawing to conclude the 2007 "Five-A-Day" nutritional program. Several Taiwan elementary school children will receive various prizes, including air tickets from United Airlines and cartons of fresh fruit from several US fruit importers. The lucky drawing will be held on December 11, 2007 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. at the FCF conference room (5F-2, 16 Nanking East Road, Section 5, Taipei). The Formosa Cancer Foundation recently received a National Civic Award for its outstanding service provided by its volunteers in the fight against cancer in Taiwan. AIT Director Steven Young paid his respects to the Formosa Cancer Foundation by attending its 10th Anniversary Ceremony last week in Taipei.
Seeing an opportunity to help expand an already active nutrition promotion campaign targeting elementary school children in Taiwan and to help grow overall market demand for U.S. fresh fruit and vegetables, the AIT Agricultural Trade Office has developed a cooperative nutrition promotion program with the Formosa Cancer Foundation to promote the importance of eating five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. The promotion has tapped into the promotional and financial resources of 12 U.S. agricultural producer associations, with the U.S. side contributing US$60,000 in 2007, with the expectation of continued funding for the next two years.
Under the cooperation programs, AIT and U.S. agricultural producers have helped FCF fund new research into the nutritional profile of lunches currently prepared for students at elementary schools around Taiwan and also provided funds for the FCF to train additional dieticians and to develop interactive educational materials aimed at encouraging school children and their families to improve their eating habits.
The 2007 cooperative program kicked off on April 4th, with a press conference announcing the results of their school lunch research which reported findings that most Taiwan school children barely consume 1.5 portions of fresh fruit and/or vegetables each day. Interactive, promotional materials were created to train more than 400 volunteer nutritionists on the nutritional advantages of eating more fruits and vegetables and to conduct in-school nutritional seminars which reached more than 70,000 children from 1,800 elementary schools in Taiwan, and by extension, their families.
AIT, U.S. agricultural producer associations and the FCF looked to the 2007 program to emphasize to Taiwan's schoolchildren the importance of eating a minimum of five daily portions of fruits and vegetables. They hope this will lead to more consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables and better health for all Taiwanese.
The twelve agricultural producer associations participating in the 2007 program are the California Agricultural Export Council, Washington Apple Commission, California Almond Board, California Tree Fruit Agreement, California Cherry Advisory Board, California Table Grape Commission, USA Potato Board, USA Apples, Sunkist Growers, Pear Bureau Northwest, the North American Blueberry Council and the California Raisin Marketing Board.
For more than a decade, the Formosa Cancer Foundation (FCF) has promoted better nutrition to Taiwan citizens of all age groups as an effective way to maintain good health and minimize the risk of disease. Taiwan's consumption of vegetables and fruit, critical to a healthy diet, has lost ground in recent decades as incomes have risen and items from other food groups, such as meats and starches, have taken over an increasing share of local meals. Previous FCF research has pointed to Taiwan's youngest generation, those currently enrolled in elementary and preschool programs, as being at particular risk of facing future health problems because of insufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables at a young age.
For more information regarding this program, please contact Amy Hsueh at AIT's Agricultural Trade Office at (02) 2705-6536 x 248.
For more information about FCF's Five-a-day campaign, please visit the foundation's website at http://www.canceraway.org.tw