Overweight and Obese Status Is Not Associated With Disease Activity for Children and Adolescents With Newly Diagnosed Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Am J Gastroenterol. 2022 Jul 1;117(7):1146-1153. doi: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000001803. Epub 2022 Apr 26.


Introduction: Despite the high prevalence of pediatric obesity, its impact on Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) activity remains poorly characterized. The aim of this study was to evaluate disease-related outcomes in overweight and obese children with CD and UC.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the ImproveCareNow Network, a multicenter registry of children with inflammatory bowel disease. We included children with newly diagnosed CD and UC enrolled in ImproveCareNow Network from September 2006 to December 2018 who had at least 1 follow-up visit 12-18 months after diagnosis. Patients were stratified into normal weight, overweight, or obese categories. Primary outcome was remission at 1 year based on physician's global assessment (PGA); key secondary outcomes included short pediatric CD activity index and pediatric UC activity index.

Results: There were 4,972 children included (70% CD). Compared with normal weight, obese and overweight children with CD did not have worse disease activity at 1 year based on PGA. However, obese children did have modestly worse disease activity based on short pediatric CD activity index (inactive 43% vs 58%, mild 48% vs 36%, and moderate-severe 9% vs 7% for obese vs normal weight, P < 0.01). For children with UC, there were no differences in disease activity at 1 year based on PGA or pediatric UC activity index. Logistic regression mirrored these findings.

Discussion: Obese and overweight children with newly diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease do not seem to have worsened disease activity at 1 year after diagnosis compared with normal weight children.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / epidemiology
  • Crohn Disease* / complications
  • Crohn Disease* / diagnosis
  • Crohn Disease* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / complications
  • Overweight / complications
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Pediatric Obesity* / complications
  • Retrospective Studies

Supplementary concepts

  • Pediatric ulcerative colitis