Psychosocial predictors of diet adherence in breast cancer survivors
AbstractBackground: The consumption of fruit and vegetables is correlated with the primary risk of breast cancer. The USDA currently recommends that 5 servings of fruits and vegetables be consumed every day, however very few individuals adhere to the current guidelines. By determining which psychosocial and demographic characteristics play a role in dietary behaviors, interventions that target at-risk individuals can be tailored. The Socio-Ecological Model suggests that physical and social environments directly impact several health behaviors, including physical activity, smoking, and dietary patterns. The current analysis seeks to explore various psychosocial variables within a socioecological framework that might facilitate or prevent dietary behaviors, like fruit and vegetable consumption. Methods: The current analysis examines a sub-sample of the original Women's Healthy Eating and Living Study. The main study recruited women previously diagnosed with breast cancer to participate in a controlled clinical trial involving a dietary intervention. The current analysis examines the psychosocial variables associated with the adherence score in both the intervention and control conditions among the Latina population of the original study and their age-matched non-Hispanic, White counterpart. Baseline demographics were obtained and analyzed using regression models for their association with the WHEL Adherence Score (WAS) between baseline and one-year follow-up. Results: Differences between the two ethnicities in the sample were few and included education level, church attendance, and religious involvement. Age, BMI, physical activity level and household environment were predictive of baseline and one-year adherence scores. However, a different list of predictor variables were associated with the relative difference adherence score, including marital status, optimism score, social support and household environment. Implications: The current study shows several psychosocial variables that are predictive of fruit and vegetable consumption among the study population. Certain risk factors for low consumption have also been revealed, which may help tailor future interventions aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. This study advances the current literature by examining prospective data and by comparing baseline data with scores at one-year follow-up.