Children's nutrition and the risk of developing neoplasms in childhood and adolescence.


  • Eleni Maria Tetorou MSc Program “Strategies of Developmental and Adolescent Health”, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
  • Vasiliki Volikaki MSc Program “Strategies of Developmental and Adolescent Health”, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece


Childhood, Adolescence, Cancer, Leukemia, Nutrition


Background: The effect of children's eating habits on the development of cancers in childhood and adolescence has been of great concern to researchers in recent years. This literature review aims to present the foods that may be related to the prevention or the incidence of cancer at the children between 0-18 years of age.

Methods: A research on nutrition and the appearance of tumors in children and adolescents between the ages of 0-18 years old was done regardless of gender, educational level and nationality. A literature review was conducted using online databases and words, such as “Nutritional Habit”, “Nutritional Status”, “Diet’’, “Adolescence’’, “Childhood’’, “Pediatric Cancer’’, “Neoplasm’’, “Carcinoma’’, “Lymphoma’’ and “Leukemia’’. We collected and analyzed a total of 34 surveys, including three meta-analyses, ten case-control studies, one cross-sectional study and two research articles.

Results: Worldwide the results showed a protective interrelation between breastfeeding, and the consumption of fruits, vegetables and dairy products in the development of childhood cancer. In contrast, the consumption of meat, cured meats, smoked fish, vegetable oils, soft drinks such as cola, junk food, but also the exposure to heavy metals, stand as the risk factors for childhood cancer cases.

Conclusion: The Disease’s prevention is associated with intrauterine life and the mother's diet during pregnancy. The nutrition of the child is crucial in the first years of life and eating habits then affect food choices at an older age. A Balanced children’s nutrition is important and depends on the parents who should consult health care professionals. Finally, due to the constant appearance of new data, it is considered necessary to further study this field in Greece and cross-culturally.


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