Journal List > Korean J Community Nutr > v.16(1) > 1038292

Lee and Kim: Comparison of the Dietary Factors between Normal and Constipation Groups by Self-reported Constipation in Female College Students


The purpose of this study was to obtain baseline data on dietary management of women's constipation. We estimated the prevalence of self reported constipation, bowel habits and foods & nutrients intake. The subjects were 169 female college students (normal = 92, constipation group = 77) aged 19 to 23 years. We conducted anthropometric measurements, an evacuation habits survey, and a dietary intake assessment for three days by a 24 hour recall method. The prevalence of self reported constipation was 46% (n = 77). Results showed that bowel habits (the difficulty of evacuation, the duration of evacuation and the feeling after evacuation) were significantly different between the two groups. Over 65% of constipation group used laxatives for constipation relief. Frequency of stress and deep sleeping were related with constipation. In daily food consumption and nutrients intake, there was not a significant difference between the groups. However in relation to bowel habits which factors influence constipation, the study showed that the intake of water, potatoes, kimchi, and fruits correlated with evacuation facility. Further, there were no findings in the difference of foods consumption and nutrients intake between the two groups. But some life style changes and food intakes (potato and kimchi) may be useful to improve constipation symptoms in young women.

Figures and Tables

Table 1
Anthropometric parameters of the subjects

1) Mean ± SD, 2) Body Fat Mass, 3) Fat Free Mass, 4) Body Mass Index, 5) Percent of Body Fat, 6) Waist-Hip Ratio, 7) Visceral Fat Area, 8) Abdominal Circumference, 9) Hip Circumference, 10) Systolic Pressure, 11) Diastolic Pressure, 12) N.S. : not significant

Table 2
Bowel habits of the subjects

1) N (%)

2) Significantly different between normal and constipation by chi-square test

*: p < 0.05, **: p < 0.01, ***: p < 0.001

Table 3
General characteristics & Life styles of the subjects

1) N (%)

2) Significantly different between normal and constipation by chi-square test

*: p < 0.05, ***: p < 0.001

Table 4
Daily food intakes of the subjects

1) 2008 survey (19~29yr, women), National Health Statics, The Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention 2009

2) Daily food intakes of the subjects (g), 3) Mean ± SD

4) The foods intake frequency of the subjects (times/day)

Table 5
Daily nutrients intakes of the subjects

1) Estimated energy requirement, Values are expressed as EER amount (%EER of intake)

2) Recommended intake based on dietary reference for koreans (2010). Values are expressed as RI amount (% RI of intake)

3) Adequate intake based on dietary reference intakes for koreans (2010). Values are expressed as AI amount (% AI of intake)

4) Significance as determined by student's t-test

*: p < 0.05, **: p < 0.01

Table 6
Daily nutrients intake of the subject per kg of body weight

1) Mean ± SD, 2) N.S. : not significant

Table 7
Intake frequency of foods (concern with fiber) and water

1) N (%)

Table 8
Correlation coefficient between bowel habits and factors that influence in constipation

Significance as determined by Pearson's correlation coefficient

*: p < 0.05, **: p < 0.01


This research was supported by the research program 2009 of Soonchunhyang University.


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