Eating frequency was examined in relation to risk of cancer of the colon and rectum in a population-based case-control study conducted in Stockholm, Sweden in 1986–88. In the present analysis, 328 cases and 500 controls were included. The adjusted relative risk (RR) of colon cancer per daily eating occasion was 1.2 (95 percent confidence interval [CI]=1.1–1.4, adjusted for year of birth, sex, intake of energy, fat, protein, and fiber, browning of meat surface, physical activity, and body mass index). The corresponding RR for rectal cancer was 1.0 (CI=0.9–1.2). The frequency of eating snacks was related to risk of colon cancer (RR per snack = 1.6, CI=1.2–1.9), while the frequency of eating meals (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) was not (RR per meal = 0.8, CI=0.6–1.1). The results are consistent with findings in two other case-control studies in which eating frequency was found to be a risk factor for colon cancer.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Parkin DM, Läärä E, Muir CS. Estimates of the worldwide frequency of sixteen major cancers in 1980. Int J Cancer 1988; 41: 184–97.
Doll R, Peto R. The causes of cancer: quantitative estimates of avoidable risks of cancer in the United States today. JNCI 1981; 66: 1191–308.
Rogers AE, Longnecker MP. Dietary and nutritional influences on cancer: a review of epidemiologic and experimental data. Lab Invest 1988; 59: 729–59.
Potter JD, McMichael AJ. Diet and cancer of the colon and rectum: a case-control study. JNCI 1986; 76: 557–69.
Young TB, Wolf DA. Case-control study of proximal and distal colon cancer and diet in Wisconsin. Int J Cancer 1988; 42: 167–75.
Gerhardssonde Verdier M, Hagman U, Steineck G, Rieger A, Norell SE. Diet, body mass and colerectal cancer: a case-referent study in Stockholm. Int J Cancer 1990; 46: 832–8.
Bergström L, Kylberg E, Hagman U, Eriksson H-B, Bruce Å. The use of the Swedish national food administration nutrient data base for information on nutrient values of food items. Vår Föda 1991.
Gerhardssonde Verdier M, Hagman U, Peters RK, Steineck G, Övervik E. Meat, cooking methods and colorectal cancer: a case-referent study in Stockholm. Int J Cancer 1991; 49: 520–5.
Gerhardssonde Verdier M, Steineck G, Hagman U, Rieger Å, Norell SE. Physical activity and colon cancer: a case-referent study in Stockholm. Int J Cancer 1990; 46: 985–9.
Breslow NE, Day NE. Statistical Methods in Cancer Research: Vol. 1. The Analysis of Case-control Studies. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1980; IARC Sci. Pub. No. 32.
Statistics and Epidemiology Research Corporation. Epidemiological Graphics, Estimation, and Testing Package. Seattle, WA: SERC, 1991.
Willett WC, Sampson L, Stampfer MJ, et al. Reproducibility and validity of a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Am J Epidemiol 1985; 122: 51–65.
Hill MJ. Metabolic epidemiology of colorectal cancer. Ann Acad Med 1987; 16: 402–7.
Owen RW, Thompson MH, Hill MJ, Wilpart M, Mainguet P, Roberfroid M. The importance of the ratio of lithocholic to deoxycholic acid in large bowel carcinogenesis. Nutr Cancer 1987; 9: 67–71.
Grundy D. Gastrointestinal Motility: the Integration of Physiologic Mechanisms. Lancaster, UK: MTP Press Ltd, 1985.
Holdstock DJ, Misiewicz JJ, Smith T, Rowlands EN. Propulsion (mass movements) in the human colon and its relationship to meals and somatic activity. Gut 1970; 11: 91–9.
Jenkins DJA, Wolever TMS, Vuskan V, et al. Nibbling versus gorging: metabolic advantages of increased meal frequency. N Engl J Med 1989; 321: 929–34.
Lowenfels AB. Is increased cholesterol excretion the link between low serum cholesterol and colon cancer? Nutr Cancer 1983; 4: 280–4.
Robert Bruce. Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto, Canada. Personal Communication, 19 September 1991.
Dr Gerhardsson de Verdier is with the Department of Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and the Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Dr Longnecker is with the Department of Epidemiology, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Address correspondence to Dr Gerhardsson de Verdier at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Department of Epidemiology, Box 60208, S-104 01, Stockholm, Sweden. The study was supported by two grants (2228-B86-013XA; 2228-B87-02XA) from the Swedish National Cancer Society. Dr Longnecker is the recipient of a Junior Faculty Research Award from the American Cancer Society.
About this article
Cite this article
de Verdier, M.G., Longnecker, M.P. Eating frequency—a neglected risk factor for colon cancer?. Cancer Causes Control 3, 77–81 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00051916
- Colon cancer
- meal frequency
- rectal cancer