Temporal Variations of Dietary Habits in a High-Risk Area for Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers: a Population-Based Study from Northern Iran


Background: Nutrition transition is a global health problem, especially in developing countries. It is knownas an important factor for development of different types of health conditions including cancers.
Objectives:We aimed to assess the pattern of nutrition transition in a high-risk area for upper gastrointestinal cancersin Northern Iran during the last decade. Materials and
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conductedon households of Golestan province, Iran. Data on household food consumption between 2001 and 2010 wereobtained from the Statistical Center of Iran. The proportions of households with medium/high consumption ofmain foods were calculated for each year. Joint point software was used for assessing trends. Annual percentchanges (APCs) and 95%CIs were calculated.
Results: In total, 12,060 households were recruited. The APCs(95%CI) of the proportion of households medium/high consumption of cereals, vegetables, legumes, fish, dairyproducts and meats were -3.1 (-4.1 to -2.2), -2.9 (-3.8 to -2.1), -2.3 (-3.2 to -1.4), -2.8 (-3.3 to -2.4), -1.9 (-3.0 to-0.9) and 2.7 (1.2 to 4.3), respectively.
Conclusions: We found significant increase in meat consumption amongour population between 2001 and 2010. Our results also suggested significant decreasing trend in consumptionof so-called healthy foods including, plant foods, fish, and dairy products. Regarding its correlation with healthconditions including cancers, nutrition transition should be considered as a priority in health policy making inour region as well as other high-risk populations. It is recommended to conduct community level interventionsto increase consumption of plant foods, fish, and dairy products.