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Diet and cancer prevention: a sampler of story ideas for '5-a-Day for Better Health Week'

Sept. 12-18 is national "5-a-Day for Better Health Week." Several nutrition experts from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Public Health Sciences Division are available to comment on the following related topics:

Has the National Cancer Institute's 5-a-Day for Better Health Program been effective in getting Americans to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables as a way of reducing their cancer risk?

The jury is still out, according to Dr. Alan Kristal, who is consulting with the National Cancer Institute on the scientific evaluation of the national 5-a-Day program. Established in 1991, the goal of the program is to increase per capita consumption of fruits and vegetables to five servings daily by the year 2000. So far, there is little evidence from national surveys that the initiative has done much to get Americans to eat more produce, says Kristal, a member of the Hutchinson Center's Cancer Prevention Research Program.

"It's difficult to get people to eat more vegetables, except french fries," Kristal says. "Only relatively expensive and intensive intervention programs have been successful so far, and these kinds of programs cannot be delivered through mass media."

Dr. Kristal, who studies the link between diet and prostate cancer prevention, is also a trained chef, so he can talk about food preparation that is sensible and healthy, and creative ways to incorporate more produce into the diet. Workplace 5-a-Day: it works, according to Hutchinson Center study.

While the jury may still be out regarding the overall effectiveness of the 5-a-Day program among the general population, Hutchinson Center researchers have found a definite improvement in eating habits among white-collar workers exposed to a workplace nutrition-intervention study.

Lead researcher Dr. Shirley Beresford, a member of the Hutchinson Center's Cancer Prevention Research Program, found that employees exposed to a 5-a-Day behavior-modification program increa
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Contact: Kristen Woodward
kwoodwar@fhcrc.org
206-667-5095
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
14-Sep-1999


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