April 16, 2008
Constipation in preschoolers linked to a low plant diet
A recent study of preschool children in Hong Kong found that those with constipation had a low intake of plant foods and a marginally higher milk intake than those not constipated
Three hundred and sixty eight children aged 3 to 5years were asked about their bowl habit and their consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals and fluids. Twenty eight percent (28%) were found to be constipated. The constipated children had a lower fibre intake than those not constipated 40% lower than the reference fibre intake. Constipated children also had lower intakes of vitamin C, folate, and magnesium nutrients found in plant foods. Fruit intake was lower as well as well as total plant food intake in the constipated children. Children need to be encouraged to eat more fibre rich foods such as to prevent constipation.
Lee WTK, Ip KS et al. Increased prevalence of constipation in pre-school children is attributable to under-consumption of plant food: a community based study. J Paed Child Health 2008;44(4):170-175
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