A study that analysed data from the National Health Interview Survey 2015 to determine the food intake and frequency of consumption for US adults with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), has revealed that foods typically labelled as junk foods (French fries, cheese, cookies, soda, and sports and energy drinks) were associated with IBD, according to researchers from the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.
The survey, which assessed 26 foods, found fries were consumed by a greater number of people with IBD, and they also ate more cheese and cookies and drank less 100 percent fruit juice compared to people who did not have inflammatory bowel disease. The findings, ‘Examination of food consumption in United States adults and the prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease using National Health Interview Survey 2015’, published in the journal PLOS One, also revealed the intake of fries and sports and energy drinks and frequently drinking soda were significantly associated with having been told one has IBD. Consuming milk or popcorn was less likely associated with receiving this diagnosis.
"While foods typically labelled as junk food were positively associated with inflammatory bowel disease, we found the eating patterns of people with and without this disease to be very similar," said Dr Moon Han, the study's first author who completed the work as a PhD student in Dr Didier Merlin's lab in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences and now works as a Health Scientist ORISE Fellow at the CDC. "However, it's unclear whether the survey results reflect a potential change in the food intake of people with inflammatory bowel disease long before the survey was conducted."
To fully understand the role of food intake in IBD risk and prevalence, it's important to explore environmental factors (for example, food deserts), food processing (such as frying) and potential bioactive food components that can induce intestinal inflammation and increase susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease, the researchers added.
“As we saw overall food intake to be similar between the IBD and non-IBD population, the effectiveness of dietary guidelines and its adherence and the limiting factor associated with certain food intake should be evaluated,” the authors concluded. “An ideal study for a better evaluation of the role of diet in IBD would be a longitudinal assessment with a detailed food diary and biomarker measurements before and after the onset of disease symptoms leading up to the IBD diagnosis.”
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