One of the many benefits of a high fiber diet is that – when combined with adequate fluid intake – fiber helps prevent against constipation. This apparently applies to children as well as adults.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, researchers in Hong Kong found that primary school children who don’t like eating fruits and vegetables are 13 times more likely to develop functional constipation (meaning the bowel is healthy but it just doesn’t work well…usually as a result of a poor diet and inactivity) than kids who do eat fruits and vegetables regularly.
The study analyzed 383 subjects aged 8-10 enrolled in a Hong Kong school. Some other findings include:
- Kids who drank only 200-400 ml of fluid per day (about 1-1.5 cups) were 8 times more likely to have constipation problems that those who drank 600-800 ml (2-4 cups) and 14 times more likely than kids who drank more than 4 cups per day
- Girls were more likely to have functional constipation than boys
- Nine-year-olds were more likely to report problems (13.3%) than eight-year-olds (10%) and ten-year-olds (5.2%)
So…if you want to set yourself up for a lifetime of good gut motility – get started on fruits and vegetables early in life!