1Department of Woman, Child and General and Specialized Surgery, University of the Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, 81100 Naples, Italy.
2Department of Translational Medical Science, Section of Pediatrics, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy.
3Department of Public Health, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy.
Background: Nutritional support is very important in the treatment of Paediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The role of the Mediterranean Diet (MD) has been understudied in children with IBD. The aims of this study were to assess the dietary intakes of IBD children in comparison with healthy controls (HCs), their adherence to MD; and the relationship between inflammation and dietary behaviors.
Methods: Paediatric IBD patients in clinical remission and HCs were enrolled. The nutritional status and adherence to the Mediterranean Diet was evaluated through a 3-day food diary and the Mediterranean Diet Quality Index for Children and Adolescents (KIDMED).
Results: The analysis of food diaries showed a significantly higher kilocalorie intake in IBD patients compared to HCs (p = 0.012), an increase in carbohydrates (p = 0.015) and in protein intake (p = 0.024). Both IBD and HCs have an intermediate adherence to MD. The comparison between Crohn's disease (CD) and Ulcerative colitis (UC) patients showed significant difference in protein intake in CD patients (p = 0.047), as well as for vitamin D (p = 0.044) and iron intake (p = 0.023). Interestingly; in IBD patients we found a significant association between adherence to MD and a low level of fecal calprotectin (p = 0.027).
Conclusion: Children with IBD in remission have a sub-optimal food intake compared to HCs. MD seems to correlate to decreased intestinal inflammation.