Digital Public Defence: Sonja Hjellegjerde Brunvoll

Msc Sonja Hjellegjerde Brunvoll at Institute of Basic Medical Sciences will be defending the thesis Diet among women with newly diagnosed breast cancer: dietary intake, changes and methodological aspects for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Kristin Jacobsen.

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Research dietitian Michelle Harvie, Prevent Breast Cancer Research Unit Manchester University Hospital Foundation NHS Trust
  • Second opponent: Professor Ellen Kampman, Wageningen University and Research
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Jon Micheal Gran, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Associate Professor Tone Kristin Omsland, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor Anette Hjartåker, University of Oslo


The time after a breast cancer diagnosis has been referred to as a ‘teachable moment’, a potential period for making positive dietary changes, although negative changes have also been associated with the treatment. To measure the dietary intake or changes in intake, a suitable and validated dietary assessment method should be used.

The aims of the thesis were to 1) validate a pre-coded food diary and a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and 2) to explore dietary intake and 3) changes in dietary intake among women diagnosed with breast cancer from 12 months pre-surgery and over the 12 months post-surgery.

The results of the thesis demonstrated that the food diary and the FFQ could be used to assess dietary intake of n-3 PUFAs in Norwegian women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, following standard breast cancer treatment, from pre-surgery and over the 12 months post-surgery.

Furthermore, the results indicated that overall, the intake of sugar was within the Norwegian recommendation, the intake of alcohol exceeded the upper limit of the recommendation and the intake of vegetables was only half what is recommended. E% from protein and fat was within the recommendations, whereas E% from carbohydrates was lower than recommended. In total, 26% of all days were reported as unusual and those days were important drivers of total dietary intake, in particular for alcohol and sugar.

Overall, the diet of the women with breast cancer was quite stable from 12 months pre-surgery and over the 12 months post-surgery. Nevertheless, a few minor dietary changes (all changes <15%) were observed, such as a decrease in the intake of energy, alcohol and vegetables. At 12 months post-surgery, 24% of the patients claimed to have changed their dietary habits the last year, but mostly they did not change their diet any differently to those who claimed no changes.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.

Published May 7, 2021 11:21 AM - Last modified June 1, 2021 12:58 PM