Few Cancer Survivors Fully Adherent to ACS Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines

Factors associated with greater adherence include female sex, older age, Black race, higher educational level

TUESDAY, April 23, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Only 4 percent of cancer survivors are fully adherent to current American Cancer Society (ACS) nutrition and physical activity guidelines, according to a study published online April 18 in JAMA Oncology.

Carter Baughman, M.D., from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System using survey administration years 2017, 2019, and 2021. The primary outcome was adherence to current ACS nutrition and physical activity guidelines. A total of 10,020 respondents reported completion of cancer treatment, representing 2.7 million U.S. individuals. Overall, 9,121 of the respondents completed questionnaires for all four of the metrics measured.

The researchers found that 72, 68, 12, and 50 percent of cancer survivors met the criteria for adequate physical activity, did not have obesity, ate adequate fruits and vegetables, and did not drink alcohol, respectively. Four percent of the survivors adhered to all four guidelines; the mean number of guidelines met was 2.0. Female sex, older age, Black race, higher educational level, and residence in Western states were associated with greater adherence.

“It is essential for oncologists and general internists to improve widespread and systematic counseling on these guidelines to improve uptake of healthy behaviors in this vulnerable patient population,” the authors write.

One author disclosed receiving grants from the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

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