Dietary fibre, fluids and physical activity in relation to constipation symptoms in pre-adolescent children

Amy Jennings, G. Jill Davies, Vassiliki Costarelli, Peter W. Dettmar

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50 Citations (Scopus)


Children with constipation are advised frequently to increase their activity levels, fluids and fibre intake. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of constipation symptoms in a group of schoolchildren while concurrently assessing their activity levels and fluid and fibre intakes. Eighty-four pre-adolescent children aged 7—10 years were recruited. All children completed a bowel function diary, an activity diary and a weighed food inventory for seven consecutive days. Of the children, 33 percent were found to experience constipation symptoms. Fluid and fibre intakes were higher in the children who did not experience constipation symptoms, but the results were not significant. Physical activity levels were found to be significantly higher in the children reporting constipation symptoms, with the most active children reporting low water intakes. This study has highlighted that constipation symptoms are a prevalent problem in children not seeking medical treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-127
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Child Health Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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