Nutrition & Diet Research

For decades we have known that over 30% of cancers are thought to be primarily related to dietary concerns, making it second to only tobacco as the most preventable (Doll & Peto, 1981). In developing countries, especially the United States, our population is affected by these types of cancers at a substantially higher rate than our less Westernized counterparts. Nutritional guidance and support may play a paramount role in both prevention and recovery in individuals’ cancer journeys.

Although every case of cancer is unique, research indicates that the most common troubling symptoms oncology patients will face are fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and fluctuations in weight, all of which are strongly linked to nutrition and diet (Newell, Sanson-Fisher, Girgis, & Ackland, 1999). No matter the stage or severity of the cancer prognosis, continued nutritional support consistently shows improvement in individuals’ quality of life (Prevost & Grach, 2012).

We have custom designed programs to meet the needs of individuals with different diagnoses, who are at different stages, and who may have other health concerns that need to be addressed alongside cancer. We offer each individual the chance to meet with a nutrition educator in order to get one-to-one guidance and feedback on their daily diets. During these consultations, our nutritional educator will research the individual’s diagnosis, current treatment concerns, preferences, and other health concerns to help collaboratively create a nutritional plan that will meet the needs and taste of each individual.

In addition to our individual nutritional consultations we provide monthly cooking demonstrations where participants are allowed the chance to practice their skills, interact and ask questions of trained professionals, and sample new items they may add to their diets. We regularly offer seminars trainings where new techniques, interventions, and research are presented to our participants and community partners. We offer a wide variety of resources to support such as books, audio cds, food journals, recipes, and videos through our online and onsite libraries. Recently, we have also added nutritional
support groups, as research favors group efforts for managing weight and nutrition (Paul-Ebhohimhen & Avenell, 2009).

Currently, we are working to increase our partnerships with community businesses andorganizations to better support our programming and make nutritional resources more widely available to all of our participants no matter their economic situation.