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

Older drivers adapt their thinking to improve road hazard detection

September 26, 2017
A recent study finds that older drivers showed adaptive responses according to the amount of traffic in a driving scene when identifying road hazards. Although younger drivers are faster and more accurate at identifying driving ...

80 percent of activity tracker users stick with the devices for at least six months

September 26, 2017
Use of activity trackers, such as wearable devices and smartphone apps, is on the rise, and a new study shows that 80 percent of users stuck with the device for at least six months. Though the gadgets may help motivate users ...

Study finds being in a good mood for your flu jab boosts its effectiveness

September 25, 2017
New research by a team of health experts at the University of Nottingham has found evidence that being in a positive mood on the day of your flu jab can increase its protective effect.

New tool demonstrates high cost of lack of sleep in the workplace

September 25, 2017
Sleep disorders and sleep deficiency are hidden costs that affect employers across America. Seventy percent of Americans admit that they routinely get insufficient sleep, and 30 percent of U.S. workers and 44 percent of night ...

Maternal diet could affect kids' brain reward circuitry

September 25, 2017
Researchers in France found that rats who ate a junk food diet during pregnancy had heavier pups that strongly preferred the taste of fat straight after weaning. While a balanced diet in childhood seemed to reduce the pups' ...

Exercise can make cells healthier, promoting longer life, study finds

September 22, 2017
Whether it's running, walking, cycling, swimming or rowing, it's been well-known since ancient times that doing some form of aerobic exercise is essential to good health and well-being. You can lose weight, sleep better, ...

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.