1 Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas - Universidade Estadual Paulista, Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil; 2 Hospital de Câncer de Barretos, Barretos,São Paulo, Brazil; 3 Faculdade de Odontologia de Araraquara - Universidade Estadual Paulista, Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil.
Introduction: Food intake has been pointed out as a factor that affects the quality of life of cancer patients in treatment. Objective: To verify whether the food intake of Brazilian cancer patients is related to their global quality of life score. Methods: A total of 772 patients with a mean age and standard deviation (SD) of 53.2±12.7 years and mean body mass index (BMI) of 25.8±5.4kg/m2 receiving treatment at the Cancer Hospital of Barretos participated in the study. Most (63.1%) were females at cancer stage III (39%); 72.4% were undergoing chemotherapy; and 40.5% had metastasis. Their demographic and clinical characteristics were collected by interviews and from medical records, respectively. Food intake was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire followed by determination of energy (kcal) and macronutrient (g) intakes. Quality of life was estimated by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - General (FACT-G) and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer - Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (EORTC QLQ C-30). The psychometric properties of the instruments were examined. An algorithm was developed for estimating the global quality of life score. The correlation between energy and macronutrient intakes and quality of life score was estimated by Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r) with α=5%. Results: The mean energy intake was 1346.5±332.0 kcal/day (95%CI=1323.1-1370.0), consisting of 57.0±20.0 g of proteins, 223.3±55.7 g of carbohydrates, and 27.3±10.0 g of lipids. Quality of life was not correlated with energy (r=-0.054; p=0.131), protein (r=-0.031; p=0.388), lipid (r=-0.005; p=0.879), and carbohydrate (r=-0.070; p=0.051) intakes. Conclusion: Energy and macronutrient intakes were not related to the quality of life of cancer patients in treatment.