While the programme has largely been implemented in developing countries, it can be adapted and implemented in different ways according to the specific needs of individual countries. The “FIFA 11 for Health” has been validated in Denmark, with positive effects on health knowledge, well-being and cardiovascular health profile. 12,13
It was recognised that while some messages included in the programme, such as “Eat a balanced diet” and “Avoid drugs, alcohol and tobacco”, were relevant in the European context, other messages, such as “Use a treated bed net” and “Drink clean water” were not.
Four of the original health messages (“Protect yourself from HIV/STDs”; “Use a treated bed net”; “Get vaccinated”; “Take your prescribed medication”) were replaced with new non-communicable disease focused messages. Two of the new messages (“Be active” and “Keep fit”) were directed towards increasing levels of physical activity; one towards diet (“Drink water”) and one towards increasing self-esteem (“Think positively”). The messages used in Denmark are illustrated in the table below.
In addition to being effective at increasing education, the modified “FIFA 11 for Health” programme directly impacts participants’ cardiovascular health profile and well-being. A documented improvement in body composition (a reduced fat percentage and BMI) and reduced blood pressure have been shown. This benefit was seen in both kids who were active, and those who were not. The modified programme was also shown to be safe and well attended.