Report Title

Snapshot of Select Cancer Patient’s Dietary Intakes Prior to Chemotherapy and Alignment to Dietary Guidelines for Americans Recommendations

Collective Title

Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics Research Reports 2020


Background. Nutrition is a relevant concern for patients with cancer, as malnutrition has been associated with poor outcomes in cancer treatment. The period after a cancer diagnosis and prior to chemotherapy represents a window of opportunity to assess dietary intake and optimize nutritional status before side effects of cancer treatment occur.

Objective. The objective of this study is to assess the dietary habits of patients with cancer prior to chemotherapy and compare their intake against the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommendations.

Design. This cross-sectional study collected data on select participants using a validated dietary intake questionnaire, a demographic and lifestyle questionnaire, and an unstructured qualitative interview on supplement use.

Participants/setting. Four adult participants were recruited from November 2019 to February 2020 through their treating physicians at Loma Linda University Health Cancer Center. Participants were required to be 18 years and older with recently diagnosed cancer (stage I-III) and assigned to receive immunosuppressive chemotherapy treatment. Patients with history of prior chemotherapy treatment for cancer were excluded from this study.

Main outcome measures. The primary outcome measures were mean intake by food group and percent of DGA recommendation met for each food group.

Statistical analyses performed. Given the sample size, only descriptive statistics were calculated.

Results. Participants exceeded the DGA recommendations for vegetables (256.0%), fruits (125.0%), and protein (118.2%). Participants did not meet the DGA recommendations for grains (38.3%), dairy (30.0%), and fats and oils (30.0%).

Conclusions. Our study design and results provide information for further exploration to assess dietary habits of recently diagnosed cancer patients and the importance of nutrition prior and after chemotherapy. Dietary habits prior to chemotherapy may be identified as potential risk factors if a patient does not meet all the DGA recommendations.

LLU Discipline

Nutrition and Dietetics


Nutrition and Dietetics


School of Allied Health Professions

First Advisor

Gurinder Bains

Second Advisor

Edward Bitok

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Cancer Patients; Diet -- standards -- United States;


Research Report

Page Count

32 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Research Reports

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. University Libraries.