Published: 2020-11-24

Prevalence of overweight and obesity in children with functional constipation aged 6 to 12 years attending outpatient department in a tertiary care hospital at Tamil Nadu, India

S. Selva Kumar, S. Santha Kumar, S. Alph Shirley


Background: Functional constipation and obesity negatively impact children in several aspects. Objective was to find the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children with functional constipation in the age group of 6 to 12 years

Methods: This cross-sectional study was done at the outpatient department of the Department of Pediatrics and Department of Surgery at Arunai Medical College and Hospital, Thiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu, India among 186 children with functional constipation aged 6 to 12 years. Data was collected from the parents and children using a predesigned questionnaire and clinical examination done. Data collected were analyzed by suitable statistical methods.   

Results: Out of the 186 children with functional constipation studied, 76 (40.86%) had normal BMI, 66 (35.48%) were overweight and 44 (23.66%) were obese. Of the 66 overweight children with functional constipation, 50% are male and 50% are female. Of the 44 obese children with functional constipation, 63.64% were male and 36.36% were female. A statistically higher prevalence of overweight (63.79%) and obesity (25.87%) was observed in children with functional constipation in the age group of 11 to 12 years. There was no statistically significant correlation of gender and socioeconomic status with body mass index (BMI) in children with functional constipation. A higher prevalence of overweight (57.45%) was observed in children with functional constipation with a predominantly non vegetarian diet. 46.77% of children with functional constipation experienced encopresis. The percentage of children with encopresis was significantly higher in the obese group (88.64%) compared to overweight children (57.58%) and children with normal BMI (13.16%).  

Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of overweight and obesity in children with functional constipation aged 6 to 12 years.


Functional constipation obesity, Functional constipation overweight, Functional constipation children, Functional constipation children

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