Impact of Healthy Eating Practices and Physical Activity on Quality of Life among Breast Cancer Survivors


Following breast cancer diagnosis, women often attempt to modify their lifestyles to improve their healthand prevent recurrence. These behavioral changes typically involve diet and physical activity modification. Theaim of this study was to determine association between healthy eating habits and physical activity with qualityof life among Iranian breast cancer survivors. A total of 100 Iranian women, aged between 32 to 61 years wererecruited to participate in this cross-sectional study. Eating practices were evaluated by a validated questionnairemodified from the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) study. Physical activity was assessed usingthe International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). A standardized questionnaire by the EuropeanOrganization of Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life and its breast cancer module (EORTCQLQ-C30/+BR-23) were applied to determine quality of life. Approximately 29% of the cancer survivors werecategorized as having healthy eating practices, 34% had moderate eating practices and 37% had poor eatingpractices based on nutrition guidelines. The study found positive changes in the decreased intake of fast foods(90%), red meat (70%) and increased intake of fruits (85%) and vegetables (78%). Generally, breast cancersurvivors with healthy eating practices had better global quality of life, social, emotional, cognitive and rolefunctions. Results showed that only 12 women (12%) met the criteria for regular vigorous exercise, 22% hadregular moderate-intensity exercise while the majority (65%) had low-intensity physical activity. Breast cancersurvivors with higher level of physical activity had better emotional and cognitive functions. Healthy eatingpractices and physical activity can improve quality of life of cancer survivors. Health care professionals shouldpromote good dietary habits and physical activity to improve survivors’ health and quality of life.