Dietary intake after treatment in child cancer survivors
BACKGROUND: Childhood cancer survivors (CCS) are at increased risk of complications such as obesity, diabetes, and osteoporosis which have the potential to, in part, be controlled with dietary interventions. To allow the development of appropriate dietary interventions for younger cancer survivors data on their dietary intake as well as information on parental nutrition views and practices need to be assessed. PROCEDURE: Dietary intake of 50 CCS was assessed with a 3-day food diary (parent report). Parent child feeding practices were assessed with the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ). Historical and anthropometric data was extracted from medical records. Survivors were less than 13 years old and less than 5 years after treatment completion. RESULTS: Twenty percent of participating CCS was overweight or obese and 54% were consuming above their estimated energy requirements. Fifty, 32% and 44% of children did not meet requirements for folate, calcium, and iron respectively. There was a significant trend for increasing BMI percentiles from diagnosis to time of assessment (56.29 vs. 67.17, P = 0.01). Results from the CFQ showed that parents were more likely to monitor (3.99) and use a restrictive form of parenting (3.43) to control their child's food intake rather than pressure their child to eat (2.77) (P = 0.001). CONCLUSION: This group displayed excessive energy intake (kilojoules) and poor dietary habits. Parents' restrictive feeding style may be contributing to these habits. Early interventions targeting the dietary intake of young survivors and associated parent feeding practices may prevent some of the deleterious long-term effects associated with childhood cancer therapy.