Results of FRESH START: A randomized controlled trial to improve diet and exercise behaviors in breast and prostate cancer survivors.

Academic Article


  • 8503 Background: Cancer survivors are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other cancers. A healthy diet and regular exercise may improve the health and well-being of survivors and ultimately reduce health risks. METHODS: 543 individuals within 9-mths of diagnosis with locoregional breast or prostate cancer were referred by 445 providers and recruited from 39 states and 2 provinces within North America. Subjects were randomized to an arm that received a 10-mth program of tailored mailed print materials to promote fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption, reduce total/saturated fat intake and/or increase exercise or an arm that received a 10-mth program of non-tailored mailed materials on diet and exercise available in the public domain. Telephone surveys conducted at baseline and 1-yr follow-up assessed body mass index (BMI), and responses to the Diet History Questionnaire, the 7-Day Physical Activity Recall and psychosocial/behavioral indices. Anthropometric data were obtained on a 22% subsample to validate self-reports. RESULTS: Complete baseline and follow-up data were obtained on 519 participants (4% attrition). Sample demographics were as follows: mean age = 57 (range: 22-85), 85% white, 56% female, and 64% overweight/obese (none were underweight). Uncontrolled analyses (t-tests) indicate that both arms significantly improved their diet and exercise behaviors (p's <.05) over the 1-year study period; however significantly greater changes occurred in the experimental arm (see table). CONCLUSION: The FRESH START intervention was successful in changing the behaviors of individuals with newly diagnosed cancers. Serum assays and collection of 2-yr follow-up data (to determine the durability of longer term behavior change) are currently underway. Further study is needed to determine if the effects of this intervention generalize to other populations of cancer survivors (i.e., other cancers and individuals further-out from diagnosis). [Table: see text] No significant financial relationships to disclose.
  • Published In

    Author List

  • Demark-Wahnefried W; Clipp E; Lipkus I; Lobach D; Peterson B; Snyder D; Sloane R; Macri J; McBride C; Kraus W
  • Start Page

  • 8503
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 18_suppl