AACR: Poor Black Women May Face Higher Cancer Risk

Majority of black women meet only one or none of five dietary goals to help prevent cancer

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Inner-city black women who live in public housing are highly unlikely to consume an ideal cancer-preventing diet, according to research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held this week in Atlanta.

Ann C. Klassen, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues surveyed 156 black women who lived in 11 public housing communities over several different 24-hour periods and measured how well they met five goals of a cancer-preventing diet: adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables; low percentage of fat intake; moderate caloric intake, no alcohol consumption; and adherence to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Healthy Eating Index.

The researchers found that more than 99 percent of women failed to meet all five goals and that about 61 percent failed to meet more than one of the goals. Although they found that only 15 percent of the women ate at least five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, they also found that 64 percent reported no alcohol consumption during the recall days.

"Many women drank soda, and ate convenience and prepared foods, even when they sat down with their families for a meal," Klassen said in a statement. "Younger adults, especially, seem to lack the skills to build a well-balanced diet -- skills that our survey shows that older generations of women still possess."

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