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E-powercard programme

The e-powercard project will develop a tool for use by schools, governments and parents to disseminate information about healthy eating, and will provide a mechanism for controlling and monitoring foodstuffs on sale at schools.

The e-PowerCard project develops a rapid deployment solution to provide schools with a tool that can: - Ensure government directives for foodstuff on sale at schools (prices, brands, profits) are met. - Help implement government guidelines on healthy eating and control foodstuffs on sale at school tuck shops and canteens. - Gather statistics and generate reports on children’s food choices while at school for central government, school administration and parents. - Provide parents with detailed information about food on sale at their child’s school, and provide a mechanism for controlling food choices and spending, if desired. - Provide a mechanism for publishing healthy eating information to parents and pupils. - Create a cashless school environment. The project supports the EU Diet, Health and Physical Activity initiative by providing feedback to health ministries on the food purchasing habits of 6-11 year olds during school hours. Analysis of the data gathered will provide information about the impact of promotional campaigns and especially advertising on the food choices made by this age group. It will also indicate the degree to which parents actively participate in encouraging healthy eating habits through controlling their children’s choices. The project will include an e-Learning element to promote good nutrition and healthy eating to parents and schools and to explain the benefits of the project. Participating schools administer goods sold on their premises using a list of approved items. Sale of these items is controlled through a POS (Point of Sale) system which can reject a sale based on a list of restricted goods. The POS also gathers data about what has been purchased. Pupils are issued with a smart card that carries personal information about their food restrictions. Food items can be restricted by ingredients (such as gluten, lactose, nuts, caffeine, a specific food colouring or other additives) which restrict all items containing the ingredient, or by specific items. This gives parents the option to restrict their child’s choice of food, either to control an allergy or to promote healthy eating by restricting specific items like sugar, fat, chocolate, crisps, or not at all. In addition the smart card acts as an electronic purse which parents load with a spending value that can be redeemed at the school’s canteen and/or tuck shop. The project will research the use of mobile telephony and SMS (Short Messaging Service) messages, the Internet and POS terminals to load value to the cards. Parents, schools and government departments will have access to a reporting mechanism showing an analysis of the pupils’ choices and the impact of the e-PowerCard in encouraging healthier choices. The project will use CYPRUS as a pilot, and suggests that the first two installations be in CRETE and then IRELAND, as each of these locations have reported childhood obesity statistics among the highest in Europe. Following this, discussions will be held about extending the project across the Mediterranean, Europe, and anywhere in the world where there is a need to monitor statistics about children’s food choices. Keywords: health, monitoring, reporting.
Acronym: 
EPOW
Project ID: 
3 732
Start date: 
01-05-2006
Project Duration: 
20months
Project costs: 
220 000.00€
Technological Area: 
E-Learning
Market Area: 
Other restaurants

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.