Sunday, January 16, 2011

Embracing "You are what you eat!"

There is an impressive density of research on the role of diet in cancer prevention, leading to numerous reports, such as that from the American Cancer Society or the World Cancer Research Fund, but only relatively recently has the research community turned to study the role of lifestyle, including diet, in cancer survivors.  Despite this, there is a solid body of quality research on lifestyle in survivors, such that evidence based guidelines are available for numerous behaviors including diet and exercise .

The challenge always comes in implementing these guidelines, and unfortunately, despite the wealth of data showing dietary choices matter for health (not just cancer, but heart disease and diabetes, as well as weight), many hospitals still have cafeterias populated with too many deep fried choices and salads comprised mainly of sad-looking white lettuce.

It was my great delight, then, to open Sunday's New York Times and read about the great lengths the culinary staff at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center goes through to provide food that is both tasty and nutritious to their patients.  What is truly remarkable, tough, are the efforts Chef Pnina Peled and her team go through to provide food that meets the preferences and cravings AND dietary restrictions of the cancer patients at the hospital. Kudos to all of them and may they serve as an example to hospitals everywhere

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