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J Am Diet Assoc. 2002 Jun;102(6):801-8.

Increased fruit, vegetable and fiber intake and lower fat intake reported among women previously treated for invasive breast cancer.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Arizona, Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson 85724, USA.



To describe the dietary intake patterns of women before and after breast cancer diagnosis.


3,084 women (age range 27 to 70 years) who had been treated for early-stage breast cancer, who were free of recurrent disease, and who were willing to complete study questionnaires.


A descriptive analysis of baseline demographic and lifestyle questionnaire data, including reported dietary intake data from women who have had breast cancer participating in a randomized, controlled dietary intervention trial. Outcomes include dietary intakes of high- and low-fat foods, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.


Analyses included frequency of intake of selected food items, chi2 analysis to determine associations between reported intakes and demographic and personal characteristics, and logistic regression to assess odds of making more healthful changes.


Women who have had breast cancer reported higher fruit, vegetable, and fiber-rich food intakes (58%, 60%, 38% more, respectively) and lower intakes of high-fat foods, including fast foods, after diagnosis. Those older than age 60 years were more likely to report no change in intake, including red meat (41%), vegetables (51%), and whole grains (62%). Odds ratios (OR) for more healthful diet choices varied by age and time since diagnosis. The longer the time since diagnosis the more likely women selected low-fat (vs high-fat) foods (OR 1.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.16-2.09 for 3 to 4 years vs <1 year after diagnosis) and reduced added fats (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.17-1.84 for 3 to 4 years vs <1 year after diagnosis).


Women who have had breast cancer report more healthful diet habits after diagnosis. Through nutrition education and counseling, dietetics professionals may be able to promote healthful and evidence-based eating habits among women previously treated for breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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