Through a partnership with the American Institute for Cancer Research and Living Plate, Crossroads4Hope has contributed to the following research and development of the nutrition intervention called Coping with Cancer in the Kitchen.
Following a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruit and beans may reduce cancer incidence and mortality. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Coping with Cancer in the Kitchen (CCK), an 8-week in-person program offering nutrition education, culinary demonstrations, food tastings and psychosocial group support, compared to receiving CCK printed materials about knowledge, confidence and skills in implementing a plant-based diet. A total of 54 adult cancer survivors were randomly assigned to intervention (n=26) and control (n=27) groups with assessments at baseline, 9 weeks and 15 weeks via self-administered survey. The response rate was 91% at 9 weeks and 58% at 15 weeks. The majority of study participants were female breast cancer survivors (58%) who were overweight or had obesity (65%). Compared to the control group, there were significant (p < .05) increases in intervention participants’ knowledge about a plant-based diet at weeks 9 and 15, reductions in perceived barriers to eating more fruits and vegetables at week 9, and enhanced confidence and skills in preparing a plant-based diet at week 15. There was a significant reduction in processed meat intake but changes in other food groups and psychosocial measures were modest. Participation in CCK in person increased knowledge, skills and confidence and reduced barriers to adopting a plant-based diet. Positive trends in intake of plant-based foods and quality of life warrant further investigation in larger scale studies and diverse populations.