Dietary patterns, beliefs and behaviours among individuals with inflammatory bowel disease: a cross-sectional study

Hum Nutr Diet. 2020 Jun 14. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12786. Online ahead of print.

K J Kamp 1, B Pennings 2, D Javelli 1, G Wyatt 3, B Given 3


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Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to a group of incurable gastrointestinal diseases that are common among young adults. The present study aimed to describe dietary intake, self-modifications and beliefs among adults aged 18-35 years with IBD and to compare those with active versus inactive disease. National guidelines for daily intake include: 34 g of fibre for males and 28 g of fibre for females, 3 oz of whole grains, 1000 mg of calcium, <10% of added sugars, three cups of dairy, 2.5 cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit.

Methods: Individuals with a diagnosis of IBD were recruited online using convenience sampling (n = 147). Data included a dietary screening questionnaire, self-directed diet modifications, dietary beliefs questionnaire and demographics. Chi-squared and t-tests were used to compare those with active versus inactive disease.

Results: The sample was predominantly female (90%) and diagnosed with Crohn's disease (64%). Daily intake for females was 9.7 g of fibre, 0.3 oz of whole grains, 683.8 g of calcium, 1.1 of cups vegetables and 0.5 of cups fruit. Daily intake for males was 14.2 g of fibre, 0.4 oz of whole grains, 882.9 g of calcium, 1.4 cups of vegetables and 0.5 cups of fruit. Participants most often modified fibre (73%), fruits and vegetables (71%), grains (67%), and dairy (66%) as a result of their IBD. Eighty-three percent believed that modifying their diet could reduce IBD symptoms.

Conclusions: Both men and women with IBD struggle to meet the national guidelines for intake of fibre, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The majority reported modifying their dietary intake as a result of IBD and expressed belief that diet could reduce symptoms.

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