Publication Details

Pons, R., Whitten, K., Woodhead, H., Leach, S., Lemberg, D. & Day, A. 2009, 'Dietary intakes of children with Crohn's disease', British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 102, no. 7, pp. 1052-1057.


Approximately 25 % of individuals with Crohn's disease (CD), a life-long relapsing-remitting disease, are diagnosed during childhood and adolescence. Symptoms of CD, including abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhoea, can lead to reduced food intake, which may negatively have an impact on nutritional status during this critical period of growth and development. The aims of the present study were to assess the growth and adequacy of dietary intakes of children with CD at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, and compare with healthy controls. Sixty-three subjects aged 10–16 years were recruited, including: children with active CD (n 18), children with CD in remission (n 23) and healthy controls (n 22). Dietary intake was assessed using a FFQ and compared with current Australian recommended dietary intakes (RDI). Growth and dietary intakes were compared between groups. Subjects with active CD had lower weight and BMI Z scores than children in remission and controls. The energy intakes of children with active CD and those in remission were significantly lower than estimated energy requirements (P = 0·001 and P = 0·03 respectively). Children with active CD did not meet the RDI for Fe and their Ca intake was lower than the RDI (P = 0·04). In conclusion, the dietary intake of children with active CD was impaired, with inadequate intakes of energy, Ca and Fe. Reduced energy intakes during active disease may contribute to poor weight gain and impaired growth. Quantifying nutrient intake and ascertaining requirements for nutritional supplementation are essential components of successful management in paediatric CD.



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