Journal List > Korean J Nutr > v.44(5) > 1043898

Korean J Nutr. 2011 Oct;44(5):428-442. Korean.
Published online October 31, 2011.
© 2011 The Korean Nutrition Society
Actual Status of Constipation and Life Factors Affecting Constipation by Diagnosis of Rome in Female University Students in Korea
Su-Jin Jung,1 Soo-Wan Chae,1,2 Hee-Sook Sohn,3 Sook-Bae Kim,3 Jeong-Ok Rho,3 Sang-Ho Baik,3 Myung-Hee Kang,4 Gun-Hee Kim,5 Mi-Hyun Kim,6 Hyun-Sook Kim,7 Eun-Ju Park,8 Young-Ran Heo,9 and Youn-Soo Cha1,3
1Clinical Trial Center For Functional Foods, Chonbuk National University Hospital, Jeonju 561-712, Korea.
2Department of Pharmacology, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju 561-180, Korea.
3Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition and Research Institute of Human Ecology, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756 Korea.
4Department of Food & Nutrition, Hannam University, Daejon 306-791, Korea.
5Department of Food & Nutrition, Duksung Women's University, Seoul 132-714, Korea.
6Department of Food & Nutrition, Kangwon National University, Samcheok 245-711, Korea.
7Department of Food & Nutrition, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul 140-742, Korea.
8Department of Food & Nutrition, Kyungnam University, Changwon 631-701, Korea.
9Department of Food and Nutrition, Human Ecology Research Institute, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. (Email: ,Email: )
Received September 16, 2011; Revised October 12, 2011; Accepted October 15, 2011.


This study investigated the actual status of constipation. In total, 978 female students in Korea participated. We identified the relationship among constipation and life style, clothing patterns, housing patterns, dietary habits, and dietary intake in a constipation symptom group and a normal group. The actual constipation rate based on the Rome II criteria was 27.0% (n = 264). Body weight (p < 0.05) and body mass index (p < 0.05) in the constipation group were significantly higher than those in the normal group. The incidence of functional bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome in the constipation group were significantly higher than those in the normal group. The discomfort of wearing underwear was significantly higher in the constipation group than that in the normal group. The constipation group revealed a significantly higher rate of irregular dietary habits than those in the normal group. The dietary diversity score of the normal group was 4.22 (p < 0.05), which was significantly higher than that of constipation group (4.12). No significant difference in life style factors was observed. It is necessary for university female students to correct their dietary habits, maintain food intake of three times per day, and select diverse foods. Furthermore, it is necessary for university female students to wear comfortable clothing to lessen symptoms and improve constipation rates.

Keywords: constipation; female university students; dietary habits; clothing habits; housing life


Fig. 1
Dietary Diversity score by constipation symptoms.
Click for larger image


Table 1
General characteristics of the subject
Click for larger image

Table 2
Defecation status of the subjects
Click for larger image

Table 3
Symptoms of menstrual discomfort normal vs constipation group
Click for larger image

Table 4
Dietary habits of the subjects
Click for larger image

Table 5
Daily food intakes by constipation symptoms
Click for larger image

Table 6
Symptoms when wearing underwear of subject
Click for larger image

Table 7
Housing life styles of subjects
Click for larger image

Table 8
Correlation coefficient between factors that influence in constipation
Click for larger image


This work was supported by grants from the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (20080410496-00).

1. Shin AS, Roh SB. Fast food consumption patterns of college students in Busan. Korean J Food Cult 2000;15(4):287–293.
2. Shin JR, Ly SY. Dietary habits and factors related to lifestyles in constipated female students. Korean J Community Nutr 2003;8(5):675–688.
3. Lee JH, O JH. A study on the defecation pattern and lifestyle factors of female high school and college students in Gyeonggi province. Korean J Community Nutr 2005;10(1):36–45.
4. Lee MS, Kwak CS. The comparison in daily intake of nutrients, quality of diets and dietary habits between male and female college students in Daejeon. Korean J Community Nutr 2006;11(1):39–51.
5. Ko MS. The comparison in daily intake of nutrients and dietary habits of college students in Busan. Korean J Community Nutr 2007;12(3):259–271.
6. Irvine EJ, Ferrazzi S, Pare P, Thompson WG, Rance L. Health-related quality of life in functional GI disorders: focus on constipation and resource utilization. Am J Gastroenterol 2002;97(8):1986–1993.
7. Myung SJ, Lee TH, Huh KC, Choi SC, Sohn CI. The Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. Diagnosis of constipation: a systematic review. Korean J Gastroenterol 2010;55(5):316–324.
8. Lee JS. In: A study on dietary habits and loosing the constipation by supplementation of Aloe juice and Yogurt in high school students in Seoul area. Seoul: Yonsei University; 2001.
[Master's thesis].
9. Jung HS, Song YM, Lee JK, Kim YW, Han SH, Kang SC, Kim YE. Lifestyle factors related to constipation in working women. J Korean Acad Fam Med 2002;23(9):1124–1132.
10. Sung IK. Classification and treatment of constipation. Korean J Gastroenterol 2008;51(1):4–10.
11. Choi JM. Relationship between the attitudes toward underwear and personal characteristics of university female students in Cheongju. J Korean Living Sci Assoc 2002;11(2):189–196.
12. Ly SY, Shin JR, Lim SH. Effect of drinking fermented milk on the improvement of defecation on constipated female students. J Korean Living Sci Assoc 2003;12(2):265–273.
13. Kim HJ, Kim SI, Han YS. Effects of sea tangle extract and sea tangle yogurt on constipation relief. Korean J Food Cookery Sci 2008;24(1):59–67.
14. Chung HJ, Park HW, Choi EJ, Lee JJ. A study of the lifestyle factors related to constipation among food habits of college students in Seoul and Gyungggi. Korean J Community Nutr 2002;7(5):654–663.
15. You JS, Chin JH, Chang KJ. Prevalence of constipation bowel habits and nutrient intakes of college students in Incheon area. Korean J Nutr 2009;42(8):702–713.
16. You JS, Park JY, Chang KJ. Correlation among dietary habits score, life stress score and health-related quality of life (HRQL) score for female college students with functional constipation. Korean J Nutr 2010;43(6):620–627.
17. Lee CR, Kim SK. Comparison of the dietary factors between normal and constipation groups by self-reported constipation in female college students. Korean J Community Nutr 2011;16(1):23–36.
18. Kang JG, Lee CB, Park H, Park CY. Relationship between circulating obestatin levels and obesity index in obese patients. Korean J Obes 2009;18(1):8–14.
19. Thompson WG, Longstreth GF, Drossman DA, Heaton KW, Irvine EJ, Müller-Lissner SA. Functional bowel disorders and functional abdominal pain. Gut 1999;45 Suppl 2:II43–II47.
20. Choi MG. Evidence based guideline for diagnosis and treatment: diagnostic guideline for constipation. Korean J Neurogastroenterol Motil 2005;11(3):44–50.
21. Drossman DA. The functional gastrointestinal disorders and the Rome III process. Gastroenterology 2006;130(5):1377–1390.
22. Park JH, Byeon JS, Shin WG, Yoon YH, Cheon JH, Lee KJ, Park H. The Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. Diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review. Korean J Gastroenterol 2010;55(5):308–315.
23. Korea Association of Health Promotion. Look at the health aspect seems to excrement. J Korean Assoc Health Promot 2004;28(2):6–9.
24. Hong KJ, Kim HW, Ahn HY. Menstrual discomfort and dietary habits in adolescents. Korean J Child Health Nurs 2005;11(3):330–339.
25. Moos RH. Psychological aspects of oral contraceptives. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1968;19(1):87–94.
26. Byeon YS. The dietary habits and elimination of university woman. Nurs Sci 2002;14(1):18–25.
27. Kant AK, Schatzkin A, Block G, Ziegler RG, Nestle M. Food group intake patterns and associated nutrient profiles of the US population. J Am Diet Assoc 1991;91(12):1532–1537.
28. Kim YW, Lee MJ. The survey on the actual status of wearing collegiate woman's underwear. J Living Sci 1999;5:113–119.
29. Choi EY, Jeon GR. A study on the ornaments wear of adolescents-focusing on the life style and clothing behavior. J Korean Living Sci Assoc 2000;9(1):137–152.
30. Shin JY, Oh KW. A study on the education & wearing behaviors about foundation for middle and high school girls. J Korean Soc Clothing Text 2008;32(4):517–529.
31. Cho ME, Yoon BC. A study on the preference of apartment housing according to x-generations life style type. J Korean Hous Assoc 2000;11(1):79–87.
32. Kwark KS, Kim JH. A study on the relation to life style and housing satisfaction of high school students. Korean J Hum Ecol 2003;6(2):13–25.
33. Pecora P, Suraci C, Antonelli M, De Maria S, Marrocco W. Constipation and obesity: a statistical analysis. Boll Soc Ital Biol Sper 1981;57(23):2384–2388.
34. Teitelbaum JE, Sinha P, Micale M, Yeung S, Jaeger J. Obesity is related to multiple functional abdominal diseases. J Pediatr 2009;154(3):444–446.
35. Bae YJ, Lee JC, Kim MH. Nutritional status and dietary quality of college students by residing types in Samcheok. J Korean Diet Assoc 2007;13(4):311–330.
36. Okubo H, Sasaki S, Murakami K, Kim MK, Takahashi Y, Hosoi Y, Itabashi M. Freshmen in Dietetic Courses Study II Group. Dietary patterns associated with functional constipation among Japanese women aged 18 to 20 years: a cross-sectional study. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 2007;53(3):232–238.
37. Lee KA, Kim HJ, Yoon HS. Constipation prevalence and lifestyle factors affecting constipation of high school students in Gimhae area. J Korean Diet Assoc 2009;15(4):419–432.
38. Byun ES. In: Premenstrual syndrome and gender role characteristics in high school girls. Bucheon: The Catholic University of Korea; 1999.
[Master's thesis].
39. Lee SJ, Kanis JA. An association between osteoporosis and premenstrual symptoms and postmenopausal symptoms. Bone Miner 1994;24(2):127–134.
40. Diegoli MS, da Fonseca AM, Diegoli CA, Pinotti JA. A double-blind trial of four medications to treat severe premenstrual syndrome. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 1998;62(1):63–67.
41. Lim H, Park Y. Differences in dietary intake and life-style of female college students in Seoul with and without premenstrual syndrome. J Korean Soc Menopause 2010;16(3):153–161.
42. Cho HK, Kim MH. Dietary behavior and nutrient intake in university female students according to taste preference. J Korean Diet Assoc 2010;16(2):100–115.
43. Jeong BS, Lee JH, Chang N, Kang BM, Joe SH, Kim CY, Han OS. Treatment-seeking behaviors among Korean university women with premenstrual symptoms. Korean J Psychopharmacol 2001;12(3):201–210.
44. Koh AR, Lee SG. Formation models of body image, self-esteem, and clothing attitudes as related to pubertal physical growth. J Korean Home Econ Assoc 2004;42(11):189–203.
45. Na Y, Lee J. Physiological responses and subjective sensation of human body wearing OnMapsi in heating environment. J Korean Soc Clothing Text 2011;35(1):1–12.
46. Bae NR, Jeong YS, Kang JS, Lee SE. Changes of indoor temperature and clothing in residential buildings a literature review. J Architect Inst Korea 2007;27(1):785–789.