The Relation between Dietary Patterns and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders among Iranian Military Men

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Gastroenterology, AJA University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Modern Epidemiology Research Center, AJA University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: Assessing the relation between dietary habits and functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) is less investigated among military personnel. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the association of certain eating patterns and FGIDs in Iranian army men. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 600 army personnel working in Kerman ground forces military station number 05, Iran. Participants were asked to define their weekly breakfast consumption, lunch intake time, and chewing efficiency. FGIDs were categorized as four groups including functional dyspepsia (FD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional constipation (FC) and functional diarrhea (FDi) diagnosed by Rome Ш criteria. Relation between variables was assessed through crude and multiple stepwise adjusted models. Results: The prevalence of FD, IBS, FC, and FDi in our study was 20%, 32.3%, 3%, and 53.2%, respectively. After adjustment of all potential confounding variables, more weekly breakfast consumption was associated with decreased FDi prevalence (odds ratio [OR]: 0.57, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.38–0.84, P = 0.005). Slowly lunch consumption declined prevalence of IBS (OR: 0.33, 95% CI = 0.13–0.84, P = 0.02). Individuals chewing their meals well had a lower percentage of IBS, FC, and FDi (OR: 0.53, 95% CI = 0.33–0.83, P = 0.006; OR: 0.24, 95% CI = 0.06–0.89, P = 0.03; and OR: 0.52, 95% CI = 0.34–0.79, P = 0.003, respectively). Conclusions: This study suggested that increasing breakfast intake, slowly lunch consumption, and better food chewing could be effective decreasing FGIDs' prevalence and increasing army crews' quality of lives and work efficiency. Further studies required to confirm this relationship and define accurate pathophysiological mechanisms.


Jahangiri P, Jazi MS, Keshteli AH, Sadeghpour S, Amini E, Adibi P, et al. Irritable bowel syndrome in Iran: SEPAHAN systematic review no 1. Int J Prev Med 2012;3:S1-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
Johnson AG, Hu Z, Cost AA. Incidence and recent trends in functional gastrointestinal disorders, active component, U.S. Armed forces, 2005-2014. MSMR 2016;23:10-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
Porter CK, Gormley R, Tribble DR, Cash BD, Riddle MS. The incidence and gastrointestinal infectious risk of functional gastrointestinal disorders in a healthy US adult population. Am J Gastroenterol 2011;106:130-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
Bang CS, Kim YS, Han JH, Lee YS, Baik GH, Kim JB, et al. Functional gastrointestinal disorders in young military men. Gut Liver 2015;9:509-15.  Back to cited text no. 4
Wang WF, Guo XX, Yang YS. Gastrointestinal problems in modern wars: Clinical features and possible mechanisms. Mil Med Res 2015;2:15.  Back to cited text no. 5
Riddle MS, Welsh M, Porter CK, Nieh C, Boyko EJ, Gackstetter G, et al. The epidemiology of irritable bowel syndrome in the US military: Findings from the millennium cohort study. Am J Gastroenterol 2016;111:93-104.  Back to cited text no. 6
Wu W, Guo X, Yang Y, Peng L, Mao G, Qurratulain H, et al. The prevalence of functional gastrointestinal disorders in the Chinese air force population. Gastroenterol Res Pract 2013;2013:497585.  Back to cited text no. 7
Dierkes-Globisch A, Fallen H, Mohr HH. Functional gastrointestinal disorders among soldiers in peacetime versus out-of-area missions. Mil Med 2001;166:223-5.  Back to cited text no. 8
Porter CK, Gloor K, Cash BD, Riddle MS. Risk of functional gastrointestinal disorders in U.S. military following self-reported diarrhea and vomiting during deployment. Dig Dis Sci 2011;56:3262-9.  Back to cited text no. 9
Khademolhosseini F, Mehrabani D, Zare N, Salehi M, Heydari S, Beheshti M, et al. Prevalence of dyspepsia and its correlation with demographic factors and lifestyle in Shiraz, Southern Iran. Middle East J Dig Dis 2010;2:24-30.  Back to cited text no. 10
Iraji N, Keshteli AH, Sadeghpour S, Daneshpajouhnejad P, Fazel M, Adibi P, et al. Constipation in Iran: SEPAHAN systematic review no 5. Int J Prev Med 2012;3:S34-41.  Back to cited text no. 11
Sorouri M, Pourhoseingholi MA, Vahedi M, Safaee A, Moghimi-Dehkordi B, Pourhoseingholi A, et al. Functional bowel disorders in Iranian population using Rome III criteria. Saudi J Gastroenterol 2010;16:154-60.  Back to cited text no. 12
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Jeffery DD, Bulathsinhala L, Kroc M, Dorris J. Prevalence, health care utilization, and costs of fibromyalgia, irritable bowel, and chronic fatigue syndromes in the military health system, 2006-2010. Mil Med 2014;179:1021-9.  Back to cited text no. 13
Moghimi-Dehkordi B, Vahedi M, Pourhoseingholi MA, Khoshkrood Mansoori B, Safaee A, Habibi M, et al. Economic burden attributable to functional bowel disorders in Iran: A cross-sectional population-based study. J Dig Dis 2011;12:384-92.  Back to cited text no. 14
Maguen S, Madden E, Cohen B, Bertenthal D, Seal K. Association of mental health problems with gastrointestinal disorders in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Depress Anxiety 2014;31:160-5.  Back to cited text no. 15
Purvis DL, Lentino CV, Jackson TK, Murphy KJ, Deuster PA. Nutrition as a component of the performance triad: How healthy eating behaviors contribute to soldier performance and military readiness. US Army Med Dep J 2013;:66-78.  Back to cited text no. 16
Adibi P, Keshteli AH, Esmaillzadeh A, Afshar H, Roohafza H, Bagherian-Sararoudi R, et al. The study on the epidemiology of psychological, alimentary health and nutrition (SEPAHAN): Overview of methodology. J Res Med Sci 2012;17.  Back to cited text no. 17
Higgins PD, Johanson JF. Epidemiology of constipation in North America: A systematic review. Am J Gastroenterol 2004;99:750-9.  Back to cited text no. 18
Feinle-Bisset C, Azpiroz F. Dietary and lifestyle factors in functional dyspepsia. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 2013;10:150-7.  Back to cited text no. 19
Sinn DH, Shin DH, Lim SW, Kim KM, Son HJ, Kim JJ, et al. The speed of eating and functional dyspepsia in young women. Gut Liver 2010;4:173-8.  Back to cited text no. 20
Xu JH, Lai Y, Zhuang LP, Huang CZ, Li CQ, Chen QK, et al. Certain dietary habits contribute to the functional dyspepsia in South China rural area. Med Sci Monit 2017;23:3942-51.  Back to cited text no. 21
Chirila I, Petrariu FD, Ciortescu I, Mihai C, Drug VL. Diet and irritable bowel syndrome. J Gastrointestin Liver Dis 2012;21:357-62.  Back to cited text no. 22
Guo YB, Zhuang KM, Kuang L, Zhan Q, Wang XF, Liu SD, et al. Association between diet and lifestyle habits and irritable bowel syndrome: A case-control study. Gut Liver 2015;9:649-56.  Back to cited text no. 23
Khayyatzadeh SS, Kazemi-Bajestani SMR, Mirmousavi SJ, Heshmati M, Khoshmohabbat S, Ferns GA, et al. Dietary behaviors in relation to prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome in adolescent girls. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2018;33:404-10.  Back to cited text no. 24
Kimura Y, Nomura M, Sawada Y, Muraoka N, Kohno N, Ito S, et al. Evaluation of the effects of mastication and swallowing on gastric motility using electrogastrography. J Med Invest 2006;53:229-37.  Back to cited text no. 25
Siah KT, Wong RK, Chan YH, Ho KY, Gwee KA. Prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome in Singapore and its association with dietary, lifestyle, and environmental factors. J Neurogastroenterol Motil 2016;22:670-6.  Back to cited text no. 26
Miwa H. Life style in persons with functional gastrointestinal disorders – Large-scale internet survey of lifestyle in Japan. Neurogastroenterol Motil 2012;24:464-71, e217.  Back to cited text no. 27
Ohlsson B, Manjer J. Physical inactivity during leisure time and irregular meals are associated with functional gastrointestinal complaints in middle-aged and elder subjects. Scand J Gastroenterol 2016;51:1299-307.  Back to cited text no. 28