Diet and Physical Activity in Childhood Cancer Survivors: A Review of the Literature
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- Stolley, M.R., Restrepo, J. & Sharp, L.K. ann. behav. med. (2010) 39: 232. doi:10.1007/s12160-010-9192-6
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Treatment advances have led to a growing population of childhood cancer survivors. Many are at risk for developing treatment-related late effects. Diet and physical activity may affect levels of health risk. A number of papers have examined these behaviors in childhood cancer survivors. The purpose of this study was to provide a review and summary of the published studies in the areas of diet, physical activity, and related interventions among childhood cancer survivors. A systematic search was conducted for studies published prior to October 2009. Descriptive and intervention studies that included survivors of childhood cancers and a measurement of diet and/or physical activity were reviewed. Twenty-six manuscripts met criteria: ten addressed diet; 20 addressed physical activity, and six included intervention studies. Results suggest that childhood cancer survivors engage in health-promoting activities at rates comparable to the general population. Behavioral interventions have mostly targeted physical activity. Results, overall, are not encouraging, due primarily to difficulties recruiting and retaining participants. Although more rigorous studies are needed, recommendations for health-promoting behaviors should be a regular topic of discussion between health care providers and their childhood cancer survivor patients.