Unhealthy diet linked to abdominal pain in kids

May 26, 2004 in Gastrointestinal Health, Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News

Unhealthy diet linked to abdominal pain in kids

Children who eat a lot of fast food are more likely than others to experience recurrent abdominal pain severe enough to interfere with school activities, according to data from researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

On the other hand, a diet rich in fruit and vegetables seems to be protective.

The research group created a questionnaire that was completed by 900 students, ages 5 to 15 attending one of four schools in Houston, and by their parents. Further analysis revealed that the biggest factor associated with protection against recurrent abdominal pain was the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables; and fast food was directly correlated with recurrent abdominal pain.

After considering factors such as age, gender, race and socioeconomic status, which was determined by parental education and income, the risk of recurrent abdominal pain was 2.2-fold higher among children who ate no more than two servings of fruit per week compared with those who ate fruit daily.

In contrast, for those who ate in fast food restaurants daily, the risk was increased 50% over those who ate fast food only once each week.

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