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Nutr Cancer. 2014;66(2):214-24. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2014.868913.

Are physical activity levels linked to nutrient adequacy? Implications for cancer risk.

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a Department of Population Health Research , CancerControl Alberta, Alberta Health Services , Calgary , Canada.


Cancer prevention guidelines recommend a healthy body mass index, physical activity, and nutrient intake from food rather than supplements. Sedentary individuals may restrict energy intake to prevent weight gain and in so doing may compromise nutritional intake. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis to determine if adequacy of micronutrients is linked to physical activity levels (PALs) in healthy-weight adults. Tomorrow Project participants in Alberta, Canada (n = 5333), completed past-year diet and physical activity questionnaires. The percent meeting Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) was reported across low and high PAL groups, and the relation between PAL and percent achieved DRI was determined using multiple linear regression analyses. Overall, <50% of healthy-weight participants met DRIs for folate, calcium, and vitamin D. Percent achieved DRI increased linearly with increasing PAL in both genders (P < 0.01). A hypothetical increase in PAL from 1.4 to 1.9 was associated with a DRI that was 8%-13% higher for folate and vitamin C (men) and 5%-15% higher for calcium and iron (women). Healthy-weight adults at higher PALs appear more likely to meet DRIs for potential cancer-preventing nutrients. The benefits of higher PALs may extend beyond the usual benefits attributed to physical activity to include having a more favorable impact on nutrient adequacy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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