Dietary Patterns in Puerto Rican and Mexican-American Breast Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Study

J Immigr Minor Health. 2017 Apr;19(2):341-348. doi: 10.1007/s10903-016-0398-y.


Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic women. Certain dietary factors have been associated with the risk of breast cancer recurrence, but data in Hispanic survivors is scarce.

Objective: to examine dietary patterns and diet quality in two groups of Hispanic breast cancer survivors.

Methods: 23 Mexican-American (MA) and 22 Puerto Rican (PR) female breast cancer survivors completed a culturally adapted validated food frequency questionnaire. Intake was standardized per 1000 kcal and compared to US Dietary Guidelines and the DASH-style diet adherence score was calculated.

Results: Overweight/obese was 70 % in MA and 91 % in PR. PR consumed diets rich in fruit/100 % fruit juices and beans, while MA diets were high in vegetables, beans, and total grains. Both groups consumed high amounts of starchy vegetables, refined grains, animal protein and calories from solid fats and added sugars but low intakes of whole grains, dairy products and nuts and seeds. DASH scores were relatively low.

Conclusion: MA and PR female breast cancer survivors have different dietary patterns but both groups had relatively low diet quality. These groups could benefit from culturally tailored interventions to improve diet quality, which could potentially reduce cancer recurrence. Identifier NCT01504789.

Keywords: Breast cancer survivors; DASH-style diet; Dietary patterns; Mexican-Americans; Puerto Ricans.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Weights and Measures
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Cancer Survivors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cultural Competency
  • Diet / ethnology*
  • Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise
  • Feeding Behavior / ethnology
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Overweight / ethnology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Puerto Rico / ethnology
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology

Associated data