Nisha Thacker: The Western Diet and Pediatric IBD


A diet that is high in sugar, fried foods, and lacks vegetables increases the risk of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.

Diet has always been a crucial aspect of treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

A diet that is high in fats and fried foods can increase the risk of developing IBD and exacerbate symptoms.

While much of the research has centered on adults with IBD, there is now research that shows pediatric patients are more likely to develop IBD if they develop a “Western diet” that is high in fried, fatty foods and lacks a lot of fruits and vegetables.

In an abstract presented during the 2023 Digestive Disease Week (DDW) in Chicago, Nisha Thacker, University of Newcastle, presented data showing that the Western diet does result in a high risk of developing IBD for pediatric patients.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Thacker talked about why it is important for pregnant women to have a cleaner diet that will reduce the risk of the child developing IBD.

In the study, Thacker, who is a PhD student, led a team who screened 4763 studies involving 4.6 million participants. They found a lower risk of pediatric IBD for those with regular or higher vegetable intake and a higher risk of pediatric IBD for those who have regular intakes of sugary beverages and/or candies.

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