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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2018, Article ID 3108021, 8 pages
Research Article

Prevalence of Functional Constipation and Relationship with Dietary Habits in 3- to 8-Year-Old Children in Japan

1Kanagawa University of Human Services Faculty of Health & Social Services School of Nutrition & Dietetics, 1-10-1 Heisei-cho, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture 238-8522, Japan
2Department of Nutrition and Diet, Saiseikai Yokohama City Tobu Hospital, 3-6-1 Shimosueyoshi, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 230-0012, Japan
3Department of Pediatric Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Saiseikai Yokohama City Tobu Hospital, 3-6-1 Shimosueyoshi, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 230-0012, Japan
4Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Faculty of Home Economics, Kyoritsu Women’s University, 2-2-1 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0003, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Tsuyoshi Sogo; pj.en.ebolgib.pdk@kcikubi4425os

Received 3 May 2017; Revised 24 August 2017; Accepted 31 December 2017; Published 27 February 2018

Academic Editor: Fernando de la Portilla

Copyright © 2018 Asami Fujitani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To determine the prevalence and effect of dietary habits on functional constipation in preschool and early elementary school children in Japan. Study Design. A total of 3595 children aged 3 to 8 years from 28 nursery schools and 22 elementary schools in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, were evaluated. The subjects were divided into a functional constipation group and a nonfunctional constipation group according to the Rome III criteria. Dietary intake data were collected using a brief-type, self-administered, diet-history questionnaire validated for Japanese preschool-aged children. Results. Of the 3595 subjects evaluated, 718 (20.0%) had functional constipation. The association between functional constipation and gender was not statistically significant (). A decrease in bowel frequency was observed in 15.9% of those with functional constipation. There was no significant difference in the proportion of participants in the constipation group by age (). Binomial logistic regression analysis indicated that only fat per 100 kcal positively correlated with functional constipation [odds ratio = 1.216, 95% confidence interval: 1.0476–1.412]. Conclusions. Functional constipation is common among children in preschool and early elementary school in urban areas of Japan. Parents should pay attention to constipation-related symptoms other than defecation frequency. A high-fat diet should be avoided to prevent functional constipation.