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Alberta’s Tomorrow Project: adherence to cancer prevention recommendations pertaining to diet, physical activity and body size

  • Heather K Whelan (a1), Jian-Yi Xu (a1), Sanaz Vaseghi (a2), Geraldine Lo Siou (a1), S Elizabeth McGregor (a3) and Paula J Robson (a4)...



To explore cross-sectional adherence to cancer prevention recommendations by adults enrolled in a prospective cohort in Alberta, Canada.


Questionnaire data were used to construct a composite cancer prevention adherence score for each participant, based on selected personal recommendations published by the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (2007). Data were self-reported on health and lifestyle, past-year physical activity and past-year FFQ. The scores accounted for physical activity, dietary supplement use, body size, and intakes of alcohol, fruit, vegetables and red meat. Tobacco exposure was also included. Scores ranged from 0 (least adherent) to 7 (most adherent).


Alberta’s Tomorrow Project; a research platform based on a prospective cohort.


Adult men and women (n 24 988) aged 35–69 years recruited by random digit dialling and enrolled in Alberta’s Tomorrow Project between 2001 and 2009.


Of the cohort, 14 % achieved adherence scores ≥5 and 60 % had scores ≤3. Overall adherence scores were higher in women (mean (sd): 3·4 (1·1)) than in men (3·0 (1·2)). The extent of overall adherence was also associated with level of education, employment status, annual household income, personal history of chronic disease, family history of chronic disease and age.


Reported adherence to selected personal recommendations for cancer prevention was low in this cohort of adults. In the short to medium term, these results suggest that more work is required to identify behaviours to target with cancer prevention strategies at a population level. Future work will explore the associations between adherence scores and cancer risk in this cohort.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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