Higher prevalence of obesity among children with functional abdominal pain disorders

Tut Galai, Hadar Moran-Lev, Shlomi Cohen*, Amir Ben-Tov, Dina Levy, Yael Weintraub, Achiya Amir, Or Segev, Anat Yerushalmy-Feler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Functional abdominal pain (FAP) disorders are one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders in children. We aimed to define the association between obesity and functional abdominal pain (FAP) disorders and to assess differences between overweight/obese children and normal weight children with FAP disorders. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of children (2-18 years old) with a clinical diagnosis of FAP who were followed-up in our pediatric gastroenterology unit between 1/2016-10/2018. FAP disorders were defined according to the ROME IV criteria. Body mass index (BMI) percentiles were defined by CDC standards. Patients with BMIs ≥85th percentile were designated as being overweight/obese. A population control group was obtained from the 2015-2016 Israel national health survey. Results: Data from 173 children with FAP disorders (median age 11.5 years, 114 females) were included. Seventy-one children (41%) were classified as having functional abdominal pain-NOS, 67 (38.7%) as having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and 35 (20.2%) has having functional dyspepsia. Fifty-three children (30.6%) were classified as being overweight/obese. Adolescents with FAP disorders had a significantly higher prevalence of overweight/obesity compared to controls (39.5% vs. 30%, respectively, p = 0.04). Children with FAP and overweight were older [12.4 (range 9.8-15.3) vs. 10.8 (7.4-14.1) years, p = 0.04] and had more hospitalizations due to FAP (20.8% vs. 7.6%, p = 0.01) compared to Children with FAP and normal weight. Conclusions: Adolescents with FAP had higher prevalence of overweight/obesity compared to controls. Future studies are warranted to raise awareness of weight issues in FAP and determine the effect of weight loss on FAP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number193
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 6 May 2020


  • Children
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Overweight


Dive into the research topics of 'Higher prevalence of obesity among children with functional abdominal pain disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this