Dietary changes and food intake in the first year after breast cancer treatment
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Understanding dietary habits of women after breast cancer is a critical first step in developing nutrition guidelines that will support weight management and optimal health in survivorship; however, limited data are available. The objective of this study was to describe changes in diet among breast cancer survivors in the first year after treatment, and to evaluate these changes in the context of current dietary intake. Changes in diet were assessed in 28 early stage breast cancer survivors, using a self-reported survey in which women identified changes in food intake since their diagnosis. Current dietary intake was estimated from 3-day food records and described relative to current recommendations. The majority of women reported changes in diet after diagnosis, most common being an increase in vegetables/fruit and fish, lower intake of red meat, and reduced alcohol. Many women reported that these changes were initiated during active treatment. Dietary changes were largely consistent with current recommendations for cancer prevention; however, some women were still above the guidelines for total and saturated fat, and many were below recommendations for vegetables/fruit, milk/alternatives, calcium, and vitamin D. Evidence that some women are willing and able to initiate positive changes in diet early in the treatment trajectory suggests that early intervention may be effective in promoting dietary habits that will assist with weight management and overall health. Data on current dietary intake highlights several possible targets for dietary intervention in this population.
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