Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasing in Saudi Arabia but there's little knowledge about its risk factors. Our aim is to investigate the dietary risk factors of this disease in Saudi children.
The children investigated for IBD were prospectively enrolled. Those with confirmed IBD were designated cases and the others were controls. The average food frequency intake at least 3 months before onset of illness was obtained by direct interview and recorded on a modified food frequency questionnaire. Fast food, sweet gaseous soft drinks, fruits, and vegetables were selected. Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, multivariate logistic regression was used, and the odds ratio was calculated to report the statistical significance of the results.
A total of 91 children, 52 IBD (38 CD, 14 UC) and 39 controls were enrolled. Consumption of fast food and sweet gaseous drinks was more frequent in children with IBD than controls, whereas consumption of fruits and vegetables was less frequent in children with IBD. Only less fruits consumption was significantly associated with IBD as the odds of children getting IBD was 2.89 (1.06, 7.87).
We report statistically significant positive association between less fruits consumption and IBD. Awaiting the results of larger sample size and more quantitative studies, the benefits of frequent fruit consumptions should be part of public health education.