Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences

Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9600



Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Patients with Gastrointestinal Cancer

Mariana Muelbert, Maria Cecília FA, Gonzalez MC, Leonardo PS and Silvana PO

Introduction: Low intake of fruits and vegetables (F&V) is associated with gastrointestinal cancers, and cancerrelated deaths due to poor nutrition and obesity. Objective: To describe the frequency of F&V consumption in patients with gastrointestinal cancer, investigating the association among consumption of F&V and socio-demographic, nutritional and disease-related variables. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in 46 patients with gastrointestinal cancer recruited at the University Hospital of Pelotas, Brazil, between July 2008 and March 2010. F&V consumption was assessed through a Food Frequency Questionnaire and the nutritional status was measured using a Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) and Body Mass Index. Socio-demographic variables and disease-related information were obtained from standardized questionnaires. The association between frequent consumption of F&V and independent variables was assessed by chi-square tests. Results: The analysis showed that 54.3% of our sample were male subjects, 43.5% were 65 years or older, 67.4% had been diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer and 71.7% were classified as “suspected malnourished” by the PG-SGA. We also found that 82.2% and 56.5% of our sample consumed fruits and vegetables in a daily basis, respectively. A tendency of increase in F&V consumption was observed in older people who ate more than 3 meals a day and lived with a partner. However, these differences were not considered statistically significant. Conclusions: There was no association among fruit and vegetable consumption and socio-demographic, nutritional and disease-related variables.