What helps kids poop?

While there are a number of answers to the above title, the answer that I’m looking for is physical activity (JPGN 2013; 57: 768-74).

With regard to the referenced study, a large prospective birth-cohort study (n=347 participants) in Rotterdam showed that preschool children with increased physical activity had about 1/3rd less frequency of functional constipation in the fourth year of life.  Activity measurements at the age of 2 years were accomplished by wearing ActiGraph accelerometers during 1 weekday and 1 weekend day.  Additionally, children who had physical activity of 60 min/day at age 4 had about 1/2 the likelihood of having functional constipation.  There are several limitations to the study; reduced activity and constipation could both be present in some individuals as a consequence of personality or psychologic attributes rather than physical activity having a causal relationship in causing constipation.

Bottomline: Another good reason to encourage physical activity –it might help with regular bowel habits.

Also, on a separate note, a recent blog post by Kipp Ellsworth is a useful reference for lab monitoring (micronutrients and vitamins) in children with short bowel syndrome:

Blog | The Pediatric Nutritionist | Covering the world of infant, child 

Related blog entries: