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Stephanie BrownStephanie Brown
Paediatric Gastroenterology Dietitian and PhD candidate

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) affects many young people in New Zealand. Rates of disease are increasing, with high prevalence of disease affecting children who reside in the Canterbury Catchment area, particularly.

Symptoms of IBD including chronic inflammation, absorptive disorders, dietary self-restriction – all contribute to chronic malnutrition. IBD is incurable and disease management involves a multidisciplinary approach of which nutrition plays a role.

Diet has become very important in the prevention and treatment of IBD including the use of exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) as a primary treatment therapy for children with newly diagnosed Crohn's Disease.

The study

The purpose of this study is to assess habitual dietary intake and subsequent nutritional status of children with diagnosed IBD and their siblings without IBD who live within the Canterbury Catchment area.

As part of the study, all children will complete a food diary; an anthropometric assessment of their height, weight, BMI and upper arm circumference; and give blood and stool samples to analyse their nutritional status and inflammatory markers.

Our overall goals are:

  • To better understand how diet and nutrition impacts children with and without IBD
  • Why children with IBD self-restrict their intake and which food-types they restrict
  • To better understand how IBD affects nutritional status
  • To assess children's attitudes and responses towards EEN and maintenance enteral nutrition (MEN)
  • To determine families' set beliefs about the impact of diet on IBD

If we develop a better understanding of the role and impact of diet and nutrition in Paediatric IBD, than we can implement better care strategies and develop improved treatment protocols that will benefit children with IBD and their families.

Further information

Stephanie Brown

University of Otago, Christchurch
Department of Paediatrics
Level 3, Terrace House
4 Oxford Terrace
Christchurch, 8011


PhD supervisors

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