Self-Reported Effects of Diet on Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Healthy Children

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OBJECTIVES: Evidence on dietary effects on gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in healthy children is lacking. Despite this, dietary advice is still common practice in the treatment of children's GI symptoms. The aim was to investigate self-reported dietary effects on GI symptoms in healthy children. METHODS: In this observational cross-sectional study on children, a validated self-reporting questionnaire including 90 specified food items was used. Healthy children aged 1-18 years old and their parents were invited to participate. Descriptive data were presented as median (range) and n (%). RESULTS: In total, 265 of 300 children (9 years [1-18]; 52% boys) answered the questionnaire. Overall, 21 of 265 (8%) reported that diet induced GI symptoms regularly. In total, 2 (0-34) food items were reported per child as inducing GI symptoms. The most frequently reported items were beans (24%), plums (21%), and cream (14%). More children with GI symptoms (constipation, abdominal pain, troublesome gases) than with No/Seldom GI symptoms reported that diet could potentially induce GI symptoms (17/77 [22%] vs 4/188 [2%], P ≤ 0.001). Furthermore, they adjusted their diet to regulate GI symptoms (16/77 [21%] vs 8/188 [4%], P ≤ 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Few healthy children reported that diet induced GI symptoms, and only a minority of food items were reported to induce GI symptoms. Children who had already experienced GI symptoms reported that diet impacted on GI symptoms to a greater, but still very limited, extent. Results can be used to determine accurate expectations and goals of dietary treatment of GI symptoms in children.

Originalspråkengelska
Sidor (från-till)433-438
Antal sidor6
TidskriftJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Volym77
Nummer3
DOI
StatusPublished - 2023 sep.

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