New research and analysis appearing in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, published by Elsevier, highlights the barriers cancer survivors face in maintaining a healthy diet, as well as the role nutrition may play in cancer risk and treatment.
Cancer survivors at high risk for poor diet quality, particularly among the less-well educated and overweight.
A new study finds poor diet is common in American adult cancer survivors with significant sociodemographic disparities. Researchers looked at the association of the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) score, a measure of diet quality and adherence to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, with demographic, lifestyle, and health-related factors of 1,971 cancer survivors.
Significant disparities were observed across sociodemographic and lifestyle factors, particularly education levels, body mass index, and smoking status. The study found that cancer survivors tended to underconsume whole grains and greens and beans and overconsume sodium and saturated fats.
‘These findings can inform the development of specific nutrition intervention strategies to improve diet quality in high-risk populations of cancer survivors,’ says lead investigator Eunkyung Lee, PhD, RDN, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Sciences, University of Central Florida College of Health Professions and Sciences.