Examination of food consumption in United States adults and the prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease using National Health Interview Survey 2015

PLoS One. 2020 Apr 23;15(4):e0232157. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0232157. eCollection 2020.


Various diets and food components have been implicated as one of the environmental factors associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Patients are often recommended nutritional guidelines to manage disease symptoms. However, the current food consumption pattern of US adults with IBD that are nationally representative is unclear. A secondary analysis of National Health Interview Survey 2015 was performed to characterize the estimated US adults with IBD and their food intake and consumption frequency using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression. Fries were consumed by a greater number of people with IBD. IBD population drank less 100% fruit juice and ate more cheese and cookies than non-IBD population. Intake of fries (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.14-2.25) and sports and energy drinks (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.07-1.97) and more frequent drinking of regular soda were significantly associated with the likelihood of having been told one have IBD, while popcorn (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.548-0.971) and milk (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.497-0.998) were associated with smaller odds, adjusting for covariates. Foods typically labeled as junk food were positively associated with IBD. Nonetheless, of the assessed 26 foods, we found eating patterns between IBD and non-IBD population to be mostly analogous. It is unclear whether the results reflect potential change in food intake in IBD population long before the survey interview. Understanding the role of food intake in IBD risk/prevalence would benefit from identifying other environmental factors (i.e. food desert), food processing (i.e. frying), and potential bioactive food components that can induce intestinal inflammation that can increase the individual's susceptibility to IBD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carbonated Beverages / statistics & numerical data
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Energy Drinks / statistics & numerical data
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult