Dietary and Physical Activity Interventions for Colorectal Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Controlled Trial

CF Lee, Judy WC Ho, Daniel YT Fong, Duncan J Macfarlane, Ester Cerin, Antoinette M Lee, Sharron Leung, Wynnie YY Chan, Ivy PF Leung, Sharon HS Lam, Natural Chu, Aliki J Taylor, Kar Cheng

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There has been evidence on the protective effects of diets high in fiber and low in red and processed meat (RPM), and physical activity (PA) against colorectal cancer (CRC) development, but that against CRC recurrence has been limited. This study evaluated the efficacy of a behavioral program comprising dietary and PA interventions in improving Chinese CRC survivors’ lifestyle. A 2×2 factorial randomized controlled trial of 223 CRC patients (82 females, mean age 65), randomly assigned to receive dietary, PA or both interventions, or usual care for 12 months, and assessed every 6 months for 24 months. Primary outcomes included two dietary and two PA targets. Secondary outcomes included changes in dietary consumptions and PA levels. Dietary interventions significantly increased the odds of achieving the targets of consuming less RPM at all time-points (OR 3.22-4.57, all p<0.01) and refined grain (RG) at months 6 (OR 3.13, p=0.002) and 24 (OR 2.19, p=0.039), and reduced RPM (2.49-3.48 servings/week, all p<0.01) and RG (0.31-0.5 servings/day, all p<0.01) consumptions. Patients receiving PA interventions potentially spent more time on moderate-to-vigorous PA. This study demonstrated the efficacy of a behavioral program in improving dietary habits of Chinese CRC survivors. Keywords Colorectal cancer, Cancer survivor, Diet, Meat, Grains, Physical Activity, Behavioral intervention, Randomized
Original languageEnglish
Article number5731
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date10 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Cancer survivor
  • Diet
  • Meat
  • Grains
  • Physical Activity
  • Behavioral intervention
  • Randomized


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