A culturally specific dietary plan to manage weight gain among African American breast cancer survivors: A feasibility study

Kathleen A. Griffith, Renee Royak-Schaler, Kim Nesbitt, Min Zhan, Adriane Kozlovsky, Kristen Hurley, Colleen Pelser, Katherine H.Rak Tkaczuk, Alice S. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Breast cancer survival rates are lower in African Americans (AAs) than in Caucasians, owing in part to a higher prevalence of obesity in the former, which increases the risk of recurrence and mortality. The Women's Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS) found that Caucasian women who followed a low-fat eating plan experienced a lower rate of cancer recurrence than women who maintained their usual diets. The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility of a WINS plan tailored to the cultural needs of AA breast cancer survivors. This feasibility pilot study was conducted at a university National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center outpatient clinic with AA breast cancer survivors. The culturally specific WINS (WINS-c) plan included eight individual counseling sessions, five educational group meetings, and follow-up telephone calls over a 1-year period. Outcome measures included dietary fat, triglyceride, insulin and glucose levels, and fruit and vegetable intake. Participants (n = 8) had a mean age of 61.1 years (standard error of the mean (SEM) 3.1 years) and a mean BMI of 32 kg/m2 (SEM 4.25 kg/m)2. Baseline daily fat consumption decreased from 64.6 g (range 36.8- 119.6g) to 44.0 g (21.6-73.4g) at 52 weeks (p = 0.07). Mean daily consumption of fruits and vegetables increased by 36% and 15%, respectively. Mean triglyceride levels decreased at 12 months (p < 0.05). Sustained hyperinsulinemia was noted in most participants, including those without diabetes. Mean calcium and vitamin D consumption decreased over the 1-year study period. In AA breast cancer survivors, the WINS-c program resulted in a trend toward reduced fat consumption and may represent a sustainable approach in this population for improvement of diet quality after breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Health disparities
  • Weight gain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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