Eating Habits and Preferences of Polish Women Undergoing Treatment for Breast Cancer

Document Type : Research Articles


Department of Anthropology and Biometry, University School of Physical Education in Poznań, Królowej Jadwigi str. 27/39, 61-871 Poznań, Poland.


Objective: The objective of the study is the assessment of the nutrition as well as the eating habits and preferences
of Polish women undergoing breast cancer treatment. Material and methods: The study included women undergoing
breast cancer treatment aged over 50 years. Data were collected on 112 respondents, residents of a large city, for whom
the average time elapsed since the completion of treatment was 5 years. Their eating habits and preferences were
determined on the basis of the frequency of consumption of products with potentially beneficial and adverse effects on
health, which made it possible to determine the pro-Healthy Diet Index-10 (pHDI-10) and non-Healthy Diet Index-14
(nHDI-14). The intensity of properties beneficially and adversely affecting health was assessed in three intervals: small,
moderate, and large. On the basis of the BMI index persons with normal body proportions were identified as well as
those above the norm. The effect of lifestyle and socioeconomic status on pHDI-10 and nHDI-14 was determined.
Results: More than half of the studied women had normal body weight and 39% were overweight. One in three women
was characterised by a low level of physical activity. The participants of the study followed diets with a low intensity
of unhealthy properties with a weak influence of protective properties of nutrition. A significant, adverse effect of the
nutritional knowledge and health self-assessment on pro-Healthy Diet Index-10 and non-Healthy Diet Index-14 was
demonstrated. Bad habits related to lifestyle (excessive energy consumption/overweight, smoking cigarettes in the
past) contributed to overconsumption of unhealthy products/dishes. Conclusion: The demonstrated dietary mistakes
indicate that actions aiming to promote benefits of undertaking behaviour beneficial for health should also be carried
out among women with breast cancer diagnosis after the completion of treatment.


Main Subjects