Education about risk factors for both cancer and CVD led to increased fruit consumption in targeted population

October 18, 2012

Disease education about overlapping behavioral risk factors for both cancer and cardiovascular disease led to small changes in dietary behavior among a community-based sample of African-American adults, according to data presented at the 11th Annual AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held here Oct. 16-19, 2012.

"When working with populations that do not meet recommended guidelines for health promotion and disease prevention, we found that a more impactful way to help them understand the implications of their decisions was to help them understand that one risky behavior, such as , is associated with the likelihood of developing multiple diseases," said Melanie S. Jefferson, M.P.H., research coordinator at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Jefferson and colleagues conducted a to evaluate the effect of two risk-factor education programs among 212 African-American adults. Researchers assigned participants to either the integrated risk counseling protocol or the disease-specific protocol.

Participants assigned to the integrated risk counseling protocol received education about the overlap in for cancer and cardiovascular disease. Those in the disease-specific group received education only about behavioral for cardiovascular disease. Both protocols included techniques from motivational interviewing and interactive activities designed to increase fruit and vegetable intake and physical activity.

Participants provided self-reported feedback at baseline and after one month of each protocol.

Researchers found that participants assigned to the integrated counseling protocol increased fruit intake significantly compared with those assigned to the disease-specific protocol. At baseline, only 37.4 percent of participants in the integrated risk counseling group met recommended guidelines for fruit intake. By follow-up, that number increased to 57.4 percent. In contrast, 31.1 percent of patients in the disease-specific group met fruit recommendations at baseline. After one month of counseling, 41.5 percent met the recommendation.

No significant increases were found in or physical activity.

"Our findings suggest that behavioral risk-factor education has some short-term benefits in terms of changing health behaviors. However, it may be difficult for individuals from medically underserved populations to make multiple behavioral changes at once," Jefferson said. "Future studies are needed to determine if there are differences in responses to interventions that address one versus multiple behavior changes in populations that have limited financial and health care resources."                    

Explore further: Genetic counseling doesn't affect pre-diabetes behavior

Related Stories

Genetic counseling doesn't affect pre-diabetes behavior

September 7, 2012
(HealthDay)—Receiving genetic risk counseling does not significantly alter self-reported motivation or prevention program adherence for overweight individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study published ...

Study tests interventions targeting multiple health-related behaviors in African American couples

April 25, 2011
Interventions to promote healthy behaviors, including eating more fruits and vegetables, increasing physical activity, and participating in cancer screenings, as well as prevention of HIV/sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), ...

Adhering to lifestyle guidelines reduced mortality in elderly female cancer survivors

October 17, 2012
Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, staying physically active and maintaining a healthy diet improved survival after cancer diagnosis in an elderly female cancer survivor population, according to data presented ...

Following cancer prevention guidelines lowers risk of death from cancer, heart disease, all causes

April 14, 2011
A study of more than 100,000 men and women over 14 years finds nonsmokers who followed recommendations for cancer prevention had a lower risk of death from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and all-causes. The study appears ...

Recommended for you

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

July 24, 2017
Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly ...

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together

July 20, 2017
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.