Eating habits, physical activity practice and clinical prognosis of colorectal cancer patients with obesity

8 Mar 2024
Eating habits, physical activity practice and clinical prognosis of colorectal cancer patients with obesity

Background and objectives

Obesity is a chronic metabolic disease associated with the development of several other diseases, including cancer.

The present study aims to evaluate the eating habits, physical activity, and clinical profiles of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients with overweight/obesity.


A cross-sectional study was conducted with data collected from the medical records of patients diagnosed with CRC (n = 41) from June 2019 to June 2022.

Additionally, a questionnaire (n = 35) was applied to gather information on eating habits and physical activity.

The data were subdivided into two groups of CRC patients: eutrophic and overweight/obesity.

The results were presented as frequency distribution in percentage (%), mean ± standard deviation, or median and interquartile range.


All patients presented adenocarcinoma-type; most were in stages 3 and 4 and underwent surgery and chemotherapy.

The overweight/obesity group showed a higher prevalence of metastasis, recurrence, and death compared to the eutrophic group.

Ninety-six percent of patients demonstrated the need to reevaluate their eating habits, and the overweight/obesity group presented a significantly lower consumption of vegetables.

Walking was the most commonly practised physical activity both before and after diagnosis.

However, both groups experienced a reduction in physical activity after CRC diagnosis, especially in the overweight/obesity group, in which both the frequency (p = 0.001) and duration of physical activity (p = 0.0005) significantly decreased.


In conclusion, this study revealed that a majority of patients diagnosed with CRC were male, overweight/obese, ∼48 years old, Hispanic, married, and living in the city of Sinop-MT.

All patients were diagnosed with adenocarcinoma type, with most presenting tumour stages 3 and 4.

The overweight/obesity group presented higher percentages of metastasis and deaths, although no statistical difference was observed.

The majority of patients did not exhibit healthy eating habits and did not engage in physical activity regularly, which is essential to prevent tumour development.

Both groups exhibited similar eating habits, with the majority indicating a need to improve their eating quality, adopt healthier habits, or pay more attention to consumption.

Furthermore, the overweight/obesity group reported consuming fewer vegetables daily. Only 57% of patients reported practising physical activity before their CRC diagnosis.

Subsequently, after the diagnosis, both the frequency and duration of these activities decreased, and these variables were significantly different in the overweight/obesity group.

All these results highlight the important and urgent need to improve eating habits, encourage physical activity, and control body weight to prevent tumour development, especially in those with CRC.

Such interventions hold the potential to improve the prognosis and quality of life of patients.

The study was recently published in the Cancer Screening and Prevention.

Source: XIA & HE Publishing INC.