Constipation and Colonic Transit Times in Children With Morbid Obesity

Olga H. van der Baan-Slootweg, Olivia Liem, Noor Bekkali, Wim M. C. van Aalderen, Tammo H. Pels Rijcken, Carlo Di Lorenzo, Marc A. Benninga

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Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine the frequency of functional constipation according to the Rome III criteria in children with morbid obesity and to evaluate by measuring colonic transit times (CTTs) whether decreased colonic motility is present in these children. Patients and Methods: Ninety-one children with morbid obesity ages 8 to 18 years, entering a prospective, randomized controlled study evaluating the effect of an outpatient versus inpatient treatment program of obesity, participated. All of the children filled out a standardized questionnaire regarding their bowel habits, and CTTs were measured using radioopaque markers. Food diaries were also recorded to evaluate their diet. Results: A total of 19 children (21%) had functional constipation according to the Rome III criteria, whereas 1 child had functional nonretentive fecal incontinence. Total CTT exceeded 62 hours in only 10.5% of the children with constipation, and among them, 2 had a total CTT of >100 hours. In the nonconstipated group 8.3% had a delayed CTT. Furthermore, no difference was found between the diet of children with or without constipation, specifically not with respect to fiber and fat intake. Conclusions: Our study confirms a high frequency of functional constipation in children with obesity, using the Rome III criteria. However, abnormal colonic motility, as measured by CTT, was delayed in only a minority of patients. No relation was found between constipation in these children and fiber or fat intake
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-445
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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