Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.46(3) > 1081294

J Nutr Health. 2013 Jun;46(3):250-260. Korean.
Published online June 30, 2013.
© 2013 The Korean Nutrition Society
Eating patterns and use of nutritional information in breast cancer survivors treated with radiation therapy in South Korea
Kyoung-Ok Kim,1,** Hyunjin Park,2,** Mison Chun,3 Eun Hyun Lee,4 and Hyun-Sook Kim1,2
1Department of Biological Science, College of Science, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul 140-742, Korea.
2Major in Food and Nutrition, College of Human Ecology, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul 140-742, Korea.
3Department of Radiation Oncology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon 443-721, Korea.
4School of Public Health, Ajou University Suwon 443-721, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. (Email: )

**These authors contributed equally to this work.

Received January 23, 2013; Revised February 13, 2013; Accepted April 18, 2013.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purposes of this study were 1) to investigate eating behaviors and patterns in breast cancer patients using a newly developed food frequency questionnaire and 2) to examine perception and use of nutritional information about breast cancer treatment among cancer patients treated with radiation therapy. Sixty breast cancer patients (case group) undergoing radiation therapy in Ajou University Hospital, Suwon, South Korea and 79 healthy women (control group) participated in this study. Mean age of subjects in the control group was 46.00 ± 7.88 years and BMI was 23.12 ± 2.85 kg/m2, and that of the case group was 50.06 ± 11.64 years and 22.32 ± 3.24 kg/m2. The results of eating behaviors showed several significant differences between control and case groups. Breast cancer patients ate meals on a more regular basis, on time, and more frequently compared to control subjects. In addition, they preferred more salty or spicy and bland food compared to healthy women. According to answers from the food frequency questionnaire, breast cancer patients consumed significantly lower amounts of boiled white rice, meats and processed food, fish and shellfish, coffee, milk, and cheese, whereas they consumed a significantly large amount of boiled multigrain rice, vegetable, seaweeds, soybean and processed food, and yoghurt compared to healthy women. This study also observed the way in which cancer patients and healthy control subjects obtain information about breast cancer treatment and its reliabilities. Results showed that healthy women did not hesitate to obtain information from mass media, while breast cancer patients would obtain nutritional information from specialists rather than mass media. Results of this survey confirmed that breast cancer patients avoided intake of red meat protein, even though they already recognized the importance of dietary protein intake for recuperation and treatment of the disease. These results could be used for future diet and nutrition guidelines for breast cancer patients.

Keywords: food frequency questionnaire; breast cancer; eating behaviors and patterns; recognition survey; nutrition information


Table 1
General characteristics of the subjects
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Table 2
Eating behaviors of the subjects (n (%))
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Table 3
Simplified food frequency questionnaire for self-evaluation of eating patterns (n (%))
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Table 4
Perception of food choice for treatment of breast cancer among breast cancer patients and healthy controls (n (%))
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Table 5
Reliability and satisfaction of information source about breast cancer among breast cancer patients and healthy controls* (n (%))
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This research was supported by the Sookmyung Women's University Research Grants 2012 and Brain Korea 21.

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