Poor adherence to dietary guidelines among adult survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2008 Nov;30(11):815-22. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0b013e31817e4ad9.


Recent studies indicate that survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are at increased risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease, conditions that healthy dietary patterns may help ameliorate or prevent. To evaluate the usual dietary intake of adult survivors of childhood ALL, food frequency questionnaire data were collected from 72 participants, and compared with the 2007 World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) Cancer Prevention recommendations, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, and the 2005 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Guide. Mean daily energy intake was consistent with estimated requirements; however, mean body mass index was 27.1 kg/m2 (overweight). Dietary index scores averaged fewer than half the possible number of points on all 3 scales, indicating poor adherence to recommended guidelines. No study participant reported complete adherence to any set of guidelines. Although half the participants met minimal daily goals for 5 servings of fruits and vegetables (WCRF/AICR recommendations) and <or=30% of energy as dietary fat (DASH diet and USDA Food Guide), participants reported dietary sodium and added sugar intake considerably in excess of recommendations, and suboptimal consumption of whole grains. Guideline adherence was not associated with either body mass index or waist circumference, perhaps due to the low dietary index scores. These findings suggest that dietary intake for many adult survivors of childhood ALL is not concordant with dietary recommendations that may help reduce their risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, or other treatment-related late effects.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Diet / standards*
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / diet therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors*