The main goals of the nutrition education were to reduce the patients’ consumption of red and processed meat and increase fruit and vegetable intake. These goals were selected because red and processed meats are purported to have a negative effect on cancer patients and the antioxidant effects of fruit and vegetables have been shown to help reduce the aggravating effects of chemotherapy treatment and, consequently, may reduce the risk of cancer reoccurrence.
The researchers based their conclusions on the fact that patients in the intervention group showed significant reductions in red and processed meat, consuming 50% less than peers in the comparison group. Comparison group patients also had two-times greater body weight increase during the study. Both red and processed meat consumption and body weight increases have been linked with increased oxidative stress, which has been shown to affect increased cancer recurrence. Fruit and vegetable intake was also increased among the intervention group and likely helped those patients limit BMI, unlike the comparison group, which had three times higher BMI over the course of the study.