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Eating frequency and the risk of colon cancer

Eating frequency has been found in most previous studies to have a positive association or no association with colon cancer. We report data from a large case-control study to determine the effect of eating frequency on colon cancer risk. Data were analyzed from interviews of 1,966 cases of colon cancer and 2,380 controls from selected areas in Northern California, Utah, and Minnesota. Respondents were asked whether they usually ate or drank something besides water at eight different occasions during the day. We controlled for age, family history of colorectal cancer, body mass index, physical activity, intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and dietary intake of energy, fiber, and calcium. In fully adjusted models, we found no significant associations between number of daily eating occasions and colon cancer in women. In men, risk of overall colon cancer was lower for one to two times per day (odds ratio = 0.54, 95% confidence interval = 0.36-0.83) than for three times per day, but risk was not increased for more than three times per day. Compared with three times per day, we found no evidence for an association between colon cancer risk and eating frequencies more than three times per day. The increased risk of colon cancer limited to men eating less than three times per day may be due to uncontrolled confounding.

Authors: Coates AO; Potter JD; Caan BJ; Edwards SL; Slattery ML

Nutr Cancer. 2002;43(2):121-6.

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